No Clinch for Truex

MartinTruexJr

Martin Truex Jr. couldn’t lock up the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular-season championship on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Martin Truex Jr. couldn’t lock up the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular-season championship on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

He suffered through an atypical night that ended in a 21st-place finish, but Truex leaves Bristol still in command of the series points lead by 101 points over Bristol race winner Kyle Busch. But he will have to wait at least another race before finally clinching the title.

The battle for the last three spots in the playoffs with only two races to go tightened. Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray hold the final three spots with Clint Bowyer 58 points out and Joey Logano 117 behind.

Elliott is still in contention despite getting into an incident with Kevin Harvick on Saturday and finishing 18th.

"We were working lap traffic, and he and I had been racing hard back and forth with each other," Elliott said. "I got to his inside and he was setting up to pass the guy on exit. He's  been running the top and he just didn’t know I was down there. I shouldn’t have stuck my nose in there, I guess."

The night was better for Kenseth, who was in contention for a win before ending up third.

"If we do get in, we're running a lot better as of late," Kenseth said. "We've had solid finishes and we've been closer to being in contention for wins. "The team's performing really well, right now. We had great pit stops and we made good adjustments that kept us toward the front. We have a little momentum at the right time. We need more."

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