Adam Cheek, Staff Writer
Tempers flared in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway, as multiple playoff drivers spun during the race.
Playoff driver Alex Bowman made contact with Austin Dillon midrace, and in the next turn, Dillon sent Bowman spinning.
“I’m going to shove that silver spoon he’s been fed off all his life up his ass,” Bowman said of Dillon on his radio during the race.
Bowman finished 23rd and four laps down, putting him on the edge of the playoffs 2 points outside the cut line. Dillon placed 22nd.
“He just races dumb,” Bowman said of Dillon after the race. “So frustrating, but that’s short-track racing and it’ll happen.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. sent Martin Truex Jr. spinning late in the race when he held the lead, but he only fell two positions to third. Truex fought back and retook the lead, holding on to it for the rest of the night and winning for the second time this year at Richmond.
“Sweeping here is awesome,” Truex said. “In the last five or something races here, we were leading every category. And up until the first race in the spring here we hadn’t won yet. So to win that race was huge, and to come back and do it again, it’s just unbelievable.”
Truex and teammates Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones led the way to a 1-2-3-4 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing — until Jones’ No. 20 was disqualified after failing a postrace inspection.
Hamlin, a Chesterfield, Virginia, native, logged his eighth top-three finish in the 2019 season.
The team still finished 1-2-3, but had Jones not failed inspection it would have been just the second 1-2-3-4 finish in NASCAR history. Roush Racing was the first at Homestead in 2005.
Truex, Busch and Kevin Harvick all clinched berths in the next round of the postseason, meaning nine spots are still up for grabs among 13 drivers.
“It was a great run, obviously,” Hamlin said, “and we knew all of our cars were really good on short tracks. … But certainly, a great day for the company.”
The NASCAR playoffs head to the ROVAL next weekend, a track that had a massive pileup in the first turn last year, among other incidents.