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2021 Truex Checkers
Sean Gardner | Getty Images

Richmond checkered, black flags

The good and the challenges from a weekend of racing at Richmond Raceway.


Martin Truex Jr. 

Another night of challenges for Truex, including being penalized for jumping the start at the very beginning of the race. But Truex came back to win again at Richmond and move on the next round of the NASCAR Playoffs.

Joe Gibbs Racing 

The organization dominated Saturday night’s race with Truex leading the way to a 1-2-3 finish with teammates Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell following him across the finish line.

RELATED: Analyzing the playoff picture

Ross Chastain 

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has been one of the most impressive in the Cup Series over the last several weeks. Chastain’s seventh-place Richmond run saw him rebound from a speeding penalty to get his eighth top-10 finish of 2021.

Noah Gragson 

The JR Motorsports driver made it two straight Xfinity Series wins after his Darlington Raceway victory with a trip to Richmond’s Victory Lane on Saturday afternoon.

John Hunter Nemechek 

Scored the best finish for Sam Hunt Racing with a third-place effort in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. Nemechek gave the team its second top-10 finish.


Kyle Busch 

Looked like he would be able to put his frustrating and controversial Darlington night in the rear-view mirror. But a late-race pit-road speeding penalty took Busch out of the equation to win, and he was credited with a ninth-place finish.

Kurt Busch 

Not a great night for the Busch boys. Kurt exited the race early when a tire went down, causing him to crash hard into the first turn wall and leave Richmond with a last-place finish.

Michael McDowell 

The Daytona 500 winner’s playoff hopes are all but over after a miserable night in Richmond that included McDowell being penalized for speeding on pit road three times.

William Byron

He will be racing for his playoff life at Bristol to stay alive in the championship picture after a 19th-place finish at Richmond was his follow-up to a disastrous start to the round in Darlington.

Bubba Wallace 

A 32nd-place Richmond finish the latest chapter in a very frustrating season for Wallace. His night included running over the tire carcass left behind after Kurt Busch’s issues, ironic because the two will be teammates next year at 23XI Racing.