Martin Truex Jr. battles his JGR teammate for the win at Richmond Raceway

Credit: RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - SEPTEMBER 11. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The mood was both patriotic and solemn as the NASCAR Cup Series hosted its second Playoff race at Richmond Raceway. The fans waved American flags and seemingly spontaneously chanted “USA” during special pre-race ceremonies to honor and remember the victims and heroes of 9/11 on the 20th anniversary.

From the drop of the green flag, there was no doubt that something special was about to happen.

Richmond Raceway is known for its competitive short-track racing, and tonight was no exception. And if you happen to be part of the Joe Gibbs Racing car stable – all the better.

From the first lap Denny Hamlin who started second on the grid appeared to be taking a page from NASCAR Xfinity Series Noah Gragson who got his second consecutive win earlier in the day after winning his first race of the 2021 season in Darlington Raceway. Just like Hamlin did.

The No. 11 won the first and second stage and led 197 laps, but it was his teammate Martin Truex Jr. who won the race after taking the lead from Kyle Larson at Lap 350.

For Truex it was his fourth win of the season, his third win at Richmond Raceway and his 31st Cup Series win. The victory earns him entry in the Round of 12 Playoffs.

For JGR it was a 1, 2, 3 finish with Denny Hamlin finishing second and Christopher Bell finishing third. Hamlin was visibly disappointed, but focused on the speed that the JGR team had. “All JGR team had fast cars for all of us today. I really wish we would have got two in a row, but regardless, still a great day for our team,” Hamlin said.

Post race Truex reflected on getting the win on this special day. “It's an important day in our history. I think all of us here. We're proud to win, and this car is amazing and there's so many people to thank, but what a day to win on. It reminds you of the honor and the privilege it is to get to come out here and do this,” he said.

The NASCAR Cup Series will conclude its Round of 16 Playoff round at next Saturday at the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Credit: RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - SEPTEMBER 1. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images


Martin Truex Jr. battles his JGR teammate for the win at Richmond Raceway Martin Truex Jr. battles his JGR teammate for the win at Richmond Raceway Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Sunday, September 12, 2021 Rating: 5