Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Closest NASCAR Cup Finishes in 2019

1. Daytona 500: margin of victory 0.138 seconds

When looking at the closest finishes of any season, it’s no surprise that a superspeedway race, with its tight pack racing, tops the list. Talladega ended under caution, so it does not show up here.

Denny Hamlin beat teammate Kyle Busch to the line by about a car-length to take the win in the season-opening Daytona 500 last February.

2. Toyota Owners 400 (Richmond): margin of victory 0.178 seconds

Short tracks are also known for close finishes and hard racing. The only surprise is that Richmond is the only one of three short track races so far this year to make the list.  Martin Truex Jr. had to hold off charges from both Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano to take the checkers for his first-ever short-track win.

3. Digital Ally 400 (Kansas): margin of victory 0.205

Now for the surprise: Next on the list is a track not generally known for great finishes. A night race on a mile-and-a-half track isn’t usually the recipe for a battle to the line, but it came down to about two car-lengths for Brad Keselowski over a hungry Alex Bowman, who never let the No. 2 get too far out front in the final run.

4. Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500: margin of victory 0.218 seconds

Keselowski was already no stranger to close finishes.  In February, he held off Truex to take the win at Atlanta. Atlanta’s old pavement has made for some good finishes, and this year’s show was no exception at the end. Last year’s margin was well over two seconds, so whether or not you’re a fan of the aero package this year, it has closed up the finishes at several tracks.

5. Pennzoil 400 (Las Vegas): margin of victory 0.236 seconds

Closing out the top five is yet another intermediate track.  A year ago, the winner had three seconds on the runner-up.  This time, not so much as Logano kept a charging Keselowski behind him for the win.

About the author

Amy is an 20-year veteran NASCAR writer and a six-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) writing award winner, including first place awards for both columns and race coverage. As well as serving as Photo Editor, Amy writes The Big 6 (Mondays) after every NASCAR Cup Series race. She can also be found working on her bi-weekly columns Holding A Pretty Wheel (Tuesdays) and Only Yesterday (Wednesdays). A New Hampshire native whose heart is in North Carolina, Amy’s work credits have extended everywhere from driver Kenny Wallace’s website to Athlon Sports. She can also be heard weekly as a panelist on the Hard Left Turn podcast that can be found on AccessWDUN.com's Around the Track page.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via