Martin Truex, Jr., Furniture Row Racing, close to clinching NASCAR’s regular-season title – The Denver Post
NASCAR points leader Martin Truex Jr., driver of the Denver-built No. 78 Toyota of Furniture Row Racing, is close to clinching the regular-season title and add to his playoff-point-leading total when the postseason begins Sept. 17 at Chicago.
Truex, who has finished first and second in the last two races, has a 129-point lead over second place Kyle Larson heading into Saturday’s night race at Bristol, Tenn., the 24th race in the 26-race regular season. If Truex comes out of Bristol leading by 121 points or more he will clinch the regular-season title, which pays 15 playoff points. Truex currently leads the Cup Series with 35 playoff points.
Instituted for this season, the playoff points will help the body of work of the most successful drivers advance through the first three playoff rounds and land a spot in the final four at the Nov. 19 season finale in Homestead, Fla. A year ago, Truex won two of the first three playoff races but was eliminated because of a blown engine at Talladega, Ala.
Truex’s 35 playoff points has been the result of winning a series-most four races (five playoff points for each win) and claiming series-high 15 stage victories (one playoff point for each stage win).
Truex also leads the series in race wins (four), top-10 finishes (16), laps led (1,372), miles led (1,970), fastest laps (825), average starting position (7.3), average finishing position (10.7), average running position (7.8) and driver ranking (114.4).
“It might appear that we have a safe margin, but I’ve been around long enough to know that points can dwindle fairy quickly,” Truex said in a release. “The next three races – Bristol, Darlington and Richmond – are at tracks where the odds are higher of your day ending prematurely. So that’s why I am not looking ahead or counting points. All the focus right now is getting a good result in Bristol.”