Truex Whips The Field In Kentucky

 

(Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr. started on the outside pole and Kyle Busch would have a difficult time pulling off the sweep. The two battled back and forth and gave fair warning they weren’t leaving much for the rest of the field.

Truex would roll to victory lane becoming only the second driver to sweep all three stages in a race this season. The other driver to that–him. Truex dominated at Las Vegas for his first win of the season.

When Kurt Busch blew a motor with 266 laps complete, Truex was coming to turn three with the white flag about to wave. Truex said that he was surprised that it went that long without a caution, but wasn’t surprised it happened. “It was bound to. No way we could run that far under green. Surprisingly, the only words uttered from in the car were “oh man.”

It was time to make a no win decision, pit or stat out. Truex said that Cole came on the radio and said I don’t see any way we can pit, but the guys behind them did. Kyle Busch would line up along side in second with two right side tires and the consensus was that the win was going to the 18, but a “kick in tail” from Kyle Larson propelled Truex to the lead. When asked about that shot he said he was hoping that would happen because Busch had been beating him all night getting to the line. “When he hit me, I just nailed the throttle and took off.”

He did take off and beat Busch to turn one but Truex said he was really concerned about holding those guys off even if he did get to turn one first, but he was able to stretch a lead and drive it to victory lane.

With eight races to go in the regular season, Truex is three times better than the next driver in line when it comes to stage wins, as of right now Truex and the No. 78 team could go in to the post season with upwards of a 60 point lead, which includes the regular season championship bonus.

Leading 152 laps, dominating stage three in a car his crew Chief Cole Pearn calls “Demon”, they were a little surprised at how well it ran considering the last time out was at Pocono and they ran seven laps and blew an engine. Pearn said following the race that it was showing some issues right off the truck. Apparently Cole knows an exorcist as Demon flew like an angel to victory lane for his third win of the season and the tenth of his career.

When asked about “Demon” Truex said his guys build such great cars that are so simliar he can’t even tell the difference anymore when he climbs in the car. “My mirror is always out of adjustment, which is weird, but that’s the only thing I ever have to adjust.

Chase Elliott who came home third after starting 12 said he struggled through most of the night, a very up and down race but managed to be in the right line on the final restart. He said following the race “I was able to get a really good roll on the bottom and managed to get to the quarter panel of the 77 to get up to third. We just never had anything for the 78 and 18 all night.” This was Elliott’s first top ten at Kentucky after last years hard wreck with the 21.

Only one issue in post race and if you were wondering why Kyle Busch wasn’t interviewed on pit road, the No. 18 had a loose lugnut which will bring about a penalty on Tuesday. Not the first time for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. Busch had several issues with other drivers throughout the night and after the checkered flag, his transmission to his team on the radio “Get my S&%t and lets get out of here. Busch parked his No. 18 Toyota at the entrance to pit road, behind everyone else and was gone before most of the drivers were even out of their cars.

Truex heads to New Hampshire trailing Kyle Larson by one point, but that really doesn’t matter with all of the stage points.

 

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Stephen Conley

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera.

I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University where the Indians an Browns just didn't do it for me.

The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting ten years so far having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and Indycar at Mid-Ohio.

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My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports.

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