Blaney, Truex eyeing playoff spot on Sunday at Richmond


Richmond, Va. — Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. are the favorites as they battle for position to make NASCAR’s playoffs, but in a season when there have already been 15 race winners, they are far from the lone contenders.

Blaney is second in points, just 19 points ahead of fourth-place Truex, but neither has won a race – the virtual automatic ticket to a spot in the postseason. Three races remain before the 16-driver field is set, starting with Sunday afternoon at Richmond Raceway. Two more unique winners could leave a race winner out of the field for the first time under the playoff format.

Other non-winners include 2012 series champion Brad Keselowski, Bubba Wallace, last weekend’s runner-up at Michigan, and 14th-place Erik Jones. After Richmond, the series moves to the road course at Watkins Glen and finishes the regular season at the superspeedway that is Daytona.

Truex appears to have an edge on Richmond’s 0.75-mile oval, having won three of the last six races here, but Blaney led 128 laps in the spring and has two consecutive top-10 finishes on the D-shaped layout.

Truex doesn’t plan to change anything in his approach.

“We go race the best we know how. And, you know, hopefully you put ourselves in a position to win and do all the right things,” he said. “It’d be disappointing with the season we’ve had to not make it.”