Martin Truex Jr. Takes Pole: Starting Lineup for Richmond Raceway NASCAR Cup Series 2021 Race

Published 04/14/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
Feb 21, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell (20) leads the field during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Martin Truex Jr’s quest to win a second consecutive race in the NASCAR Cup Series 2021 season has received a much-appreciated early boost – he will start on pole position for this Sunday’s Richmond race. After Sunday’s victory at Martinsville, Truex Jr became the only driver to win two races this season.

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Seeing Denny Hamlin on the front row has become somewhat of a routine this season due to his incredible consistency. Hamlin, with seven top-five finishes in the first eight races, will start on the front row again at Richmond. There is little doubt that Hamlin will again be among the frontrunners at his home track on Sunday, but he will be itching to seal that win this time.

Apr 10, 2021; Martinsville, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series drivers cross the start line during the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Hendrick Motorsports secured a second-row lockout for Richmond, with Chase Elliott and William Byron starting third and fourth. Elliott, Byron, and another Hendrick driver Kyle Larson all finished inside the top-five at Martinsville.

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How does the NASCAR Cup Series field stack up behind the front rows?

Larson, another driver to have made a dominant start this year, will start in sixth place, behind Joey Logano in fifth. Behind Larson, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch round off the top-10 starters.

After another 16th-place finish, Bubba Wallace will start in 15th place at Richmond. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski, who won the 2020 playoff race at Richmond, will start the race in 20th.

Truex Jr will look to ride on his current momentum as well as his superb recent record at Richmond. The Joe Gibbs driver has not finished lower than third in his last four races there and also has two wins.

Can Denny Hamlin win at his home track?

Hamlin‘s recent record at Richmond bears resemblance to his record so far this season. He has three top-fives in the last five races at the track, but no wins.

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Kyle Busch might also look at Richmond as a great chance to get an early win this year. Busch and Truex Jr. are the only active drivers with two wins at this track.

Mar 14, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) celebrates after winning the NASCAR Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Richmond race holds a lot of importance every year in the regular season; it is one of the tracks that return on the schedule for the all-important playoffs.

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Aayush Majumdar

1000 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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