Truex unhappy with Hamlin, Larson after losing out on Richmond win

A dominating night for Martin Truex Jr. at Richmond Raceway turned into frustration and fender slamming over the final lap of the Toyota Owners 400.

The final caution with two laps to go set everything in motion. Truex had control of the race and was leading Joey Logano when Kyle Larson spun off Turn 4 from contact with Bubba Wallace. In the ensuing pit stops, Truex came off pit road second to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, putting them on the front row for the restart.

Hamlin chose the inside and got the early advantage going into Turn 1, which Truex said was because Hamlin jumped the restart. He then took issue with how Hamlin ran him through the corner to take the lead and drive away.


But it didn’t end there. On the final lap, Truex lost second position to Logano in Turn 1, with Larson challenging his inside going down the backstretch. Truex turned left into Larson, and the two made additional contact off turn 4, which was initiated by Larson admitting he didn’t care if he squeezed Truex into the wall.

The two traded more shots after the checkered flag. Truex then set his sights on Hamlin, running into his back bumper at the end of the backstretch on the cool-down lap.

“It’s unfortunately happened to us a few times here at Richmond,” Truex, who ultimately finished fourth, said about a victory slipping away. “We lead the whole race and then a (expletive) move brings out a caution coming to the white flag and ruins our whole night.

“It was unfortunate, but honestly, just an awesome job by my whole team. The Auto-Owners Camry was a rocket. It was something like we’ve had here in the past and unfortunately, this has happened to us a few times.

“We came in (to pit road) with the lead, go out second to the fastest pit crew on pit road is a tough one to swallow. But I feel like we still could have had a race for it but just got used up in Turn 1 on the restart.”

Truex led a race-high 228 of 407 laps and won the second stage.

“I felt like (Hamlin) used me up down there in Turn 1, and I didn’t really appreciate a teammate racing me like that,” Truex said. “I wish he would have (given) me a chance. But that’s the way it is.”

As for the Larson scuffle, Truex pointed the finger at the Hendrick Motorsports driver for starting the contact.

“He drove into the side of me in (Turns) 1 and 2, and I got a little loose down the backstretch,” Truex said. “I don’t know if my left rear was going down or what, and I kind of slammed into him. No big deal.”

Story originally appeared on Racer