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For the last slot in the Cup Series playoffs, Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs....

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Racing and Ryan Blaney of Team Penske faced off this past weekend at Richmond Raceway....

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In order to create some space between himself and Truex, Blaney exploited the race....

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After the drive to Michigan International Speedway, Blaney held a 19-point advantage....

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He came in fifth, while Truex came in sixth, but the No. 19 driver gained....

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further ground by completing Stage 1 in seventh place....

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Then, with a chance to earn a victory that would advance him to the playoffs....

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he traveled to one of his strongest tracks.