Truex Short of Clinching Regular Season Championship

Jerry Markland/Getty Images

by Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

BRISTOL, Tenn.— All signs were pointing north that Martin Truex Jr would clinch the regular season points championship following the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

However, all the compass that was pointing north to that championship went off-course in the second stage. Truex was running in the fifth position when he dove back down pit road to fix a loose wheel as the field went back under green flag conditions following the caution at lap 205. However, the night went even further south when NASCAR penalized Truex on lap 211 for an outside tire violation.

Truex dropped from running in the top-five to the 29th position. Though close to perfect execution, Truex was able to salvage a 21st place finish to finish only one lap down.

In order to clinch the regular season championship, Truex could only afford to lose nine points at Bristol. Coming into the event, Truex was 129 points ahead of Kyle Larson. After Bristol, Truex leads second place, Kyle Busch, by 101 points.

With the new points structure initiated this season, Truex could clinch the regular season championship at Darlington Raceway in the Bojangles Southern 500 due to the potential of scoring 60 points from stage points and regular points. Mathematically, Truex can only afford to lose 41 points at Darlington.

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