Truex Dominates and Survives Overtime Restart to Win at Kentucky

SPARTA, Ky. — Martin Truex Jr. put on a clinic in the Quaker State 400, leading the most laps and sweeping the stages, but had to out-duel the field in overtime to win for the third time this season at Kentucky Speedway.

Restarting in overtime, Kyle Larson shoved Truex out ahead of the field and a multi-car wreck in Turn 4 coming to the white flag ended the race under caution, rendering the victory to Truex.

It’s his 10th victory in 423 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career starts.


American Muscle

Larson finished runner-up, followed by Chase Elliott on the bottom step of the podium.

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five.

Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-10.

RACE RECAP

Busch led the field to the green flag at 7:49 p.m. He led the first 29 laps before Truex edged him out at the line on Lap 30. Busch regained it the following lap, but Truex drove him back down to take it and win the first stage.

Busch took back the lead on the ensuing Lap 88 restart exiting Turn 2. But as was the case in the first, Truex reeled him in, passed him on Lap 136 and won the second stage. Joey Logano broke up the Busch/Truex parade up front by bypassing pit road under the stage break and taking the race lead, only to lose it on Lap 171.

Truex then built himself up a 12-second lead, only surrendering the lead under a cycle of green flag stops with 43 laps to go, which he took back with 39 to go. Kurt Busch’s blown engine on the frontstretch with two to go brought out the race’s eighth caution, setting up the overtime finish.

CAUTIONS

Caution flew for the first time on Lap 31 as a scheduled competition caution due to rain that pelted the track the whole weekend. The second flew on Lap 81 for the end of the first stage. The third caution flew on Lap 88 for a three-car wreck in Turn 3 involving Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson. The fourth flew on Lap 95 for a two-car wreck in Turn 2 involving Kasey Kahne and Trevor Bayne. The fifth flew on Lap 112 when Bayne went spinning in Turn 4. The sixth flew on Lap 138 when Joey Gase hit the wall in Turn 2. The seventh flew for the end of the second stage.

NUTS & BOLTS

The race lasted two hours, 55 minutes and 57 seconds at an average speed of 138.604 mph. There were nine lead changes among four different drivers and nine cautions for 39 laps.

Larson leaves with a one-point lead over Truex.

C1718_UNOFFRES

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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