Charlotte Motor Speedway is becoming Martin Truex Jr’s next home. In 2016 Truex scored his first Charlotte victory in dominant fashion by leading the majority of the race. However, the journey to his second Charlotte win in Sunday’s Bank of America 500 yesterday wasn’t easy.
Missing the third round of qualifying on Friday, Truex was determined to search for the speed that he was missing from his fellow competitors. Heading into Saturday’s practice rain forced NASCAR to cancel both Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice sessions and Truex would go into Sunday’s race scratching his head.
Starting seventeenth on Sunday, Truex hoped that his Friday struggles would not factor in the race. With weather approaching, NASCAR moved the start time up one hour to give a cushion from hurricane Nate quickly approaching the Carolinas.
Truex missed out by gaining any stage points after Stage 1, finishing 12th. Truex thanked his pit crew for getting him in the position to have a shot to win. Truex would grab the lead from Kevin Harvick during the green flag pit stops on lap 234. He would go on to take the checkered flag winning by 0.911 seconds over second place Chase Elliott.
After Sunday’s win, Truex spoke to the media on his success at Charlotte.
“Unbelievable win,” Truex said. “Just a total team effort. Every single guy – every guy on this team just did a perfect job today, and I can’t be more proud of them—and this time of the year is just when you want it to happen.”
Chase Elliott, for the second consecutive week, finished in the runner-up position and currently sits 25 points above the cutoff position which is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Chase Elliott spoke about his fight back to another top-five finish and proclaimed that a win is coming for his team.
“It was a hard-fought day and really, from where we were in those middle stages, I was proud of the way we fought back and were able to get back to the front. It’s frustrating to run like this. We’re definitely tired of running second. But, if we keep running like we are, hopefully, the opportunities will be there,” Elliott said.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. enters Talladega as the proclaimed favorite after winning the last two restrictor plate tracks.
The second race of the round of 12 kicks off next Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern on your local NBC channel.