NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Stock Car Scoop: Is Martin Truex Jr. Peaking at the Right Time?

The NASCAR Cup Series headed to Richmond Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday (Sept. 11). On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, it was Martin Truex Jr. emerging with the win over his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates.

There’s just one race left in the Round of 16 for this year’s Cup playoffs and seven races left until the Championship 4. With the victory, is Truex peaking at the right time? Bryan Nolen and Adam Cheek take a closer look at whether the No. 19 team is a true title contender. Plus: which driver below the cutline should be the most concerned heading into a weekend of short track racing in Thunder Valley?

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RACE WEEKEND CENTRAL: RICHMOND

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John Dawg Chapman

I have never been a big believer in “momentum.” I do believe in execution. If any driver or pit crew is incurring penalties that put a car to the back, they’re not executing. Martin was fortunate that his penalty was on the start so he had plenty of time to make it up. But any time a driver has to come from the back for whatever reason, including failing pre-race inspection the potential to damage the car is much greater than running with the leaders. Late race pit road violations are extremely punitive.

JT

(Set to the tune of hip-hop music) “You drive to win the race! You don’t drive for “The Playoffs”! You keep telling me that Truex “is peaking too early” and I say “Whatcha talkin’ bout?!”

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