Martin Truex Jr. claims first stage wins of 2020, takes Atlanta stages

Martin Truex Jr. retook the lead with 26 laps to go in Stage 2 and again on a late-stage restart in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to snag his second stage win of the season — and of the race.

On fresher tires than Clint Bowyer, Truex’s No. 19 overtook the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford on Lap 185, with teammate Kyle Busch passing Bowyer right behind him. Truex then retook the lead from Busch after a restart on Lap 207, holding off emerging runner-up Ryan Blaney in the No. 12 Ford for his 40th career stage win.

Busch and Denny Hamlin continued the run of Joe Gibbs Racing cars at the front of the field in third and fourth, respectively, followed by Chase Elliott to round out the top five.

MORE: Full Stage 2 results

The caution flag waved with 10 laps remaining after Michael McDowell made contact with teammate John Hunter Nemechek, who brought out the only other natural caution of the race in Stage 1.

Finish Driver Team Points
1 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing 10
2 Ryan Blaney Team Penske 9
3 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing 8
4 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing 7
5 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports 6
6 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing 5
7 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing 4
8 Brad Keselowski Team Penske 3
9 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing 2
10 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports 1

STAGE 1

Martin Truex Jr. claimed the lead late and held it through just the second restart of the day to take Stage 1 in NASCAR Cup Series action at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Snagging the lead from Kevin Harvick on Lap 87, last year’s runner-up got out of pit road first to lead the field back to green after a late caution set up the restart. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing driver held the lead the rest of the way for his first stage win of the season.

John Hunter Nemechek brought out just the second caution of the race on Lap 95, setting up the final restart of the stage.

Kyle Busch finished behind his JGR teammate for second, followed by Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin and Harvick to round out the top five.

RELATED: Full Stage 1 results

Kurt Busch, forced to start from the rear and perform a pass-through penalty, climbed his way back through the field to briefly hold the lead during green-flag stops and finish 17th by stage end. He got the free pass at the competition caution on Lap 25, putting him back on the lead lap.

Ryan Newman and Brad Keselowski were hit with pit road speeding penalties during green-flag stops just past midway in the stage. They finished 26th and 21st, respectively.

William Byron scraped the outside retaining wall, then incurred a pit road penalty for having too many crew members over the wall during a set of repairs, necessitating a pass-through. He finished the stage seven laps down, in 39th.

Before the race, the 40-car field stopped on the frontstretch during pace laps and silenced the engines for an address from NASCAR president Steve Phelps.

MORE: NASCAR President Steve Phelps addresses need for change

Finish Driver Team Points
1 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing 10
2 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing 9
3 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing 8
4 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing 7
5 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing 6
6 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports 5
7 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing 4
8 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing 3
9 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports 2
10 Ryan Blaney Team Penske 1