Kansas Season Sweep for Truex

Martin Truex Jr.

"I can't believe how this day went, and that's why you never give up, because you don't know what can happen." (Photo: Getty Images)

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Martin Truex Jr. won Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 to sweep both Monster Energy Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway in 2017.

Truex Jr. led 91 laps to score his seventh win of the year and second of the season at Kansas after his Mother’s Day weekend victory at the track in May. Truex Jr. has scored six of his seven wins on 1.5-mile tracks.
 
It was his 14th career win.
 
"I can't believe how this day went, and that's why you never give up, because you don't know what can happen,” Truex Jr. said.
 
Truex and the Furniture Row Racing team were racing with heavy hearts. Fabricator Jim Watson died Saturday night of a heart attack while in town for the playoff race. He was 55-years-old. 
 
"We were racing for Jim today," Truex said. "He was a heck of a guy."
 
Kyle Busch finished second to race his way into the next round of the playoffs. Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.
 
Chris Buescher, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Kyle Busch completed the first 10 finishers.
 
Kyle Busch and Hamlin won the first two stages.
 
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts the next round of the playoffs next Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
 
How Truex Jr. Won: It wasn’t easy. He had to battle back from adversity including being penalized for passing below the inside line on lap 45 when as the leader Truex Jr. has to keep a legal line. That dropped him out of the top spot and after a pass through penalty fell to the rear of the field. Undaunted he charged back to the front, dodged the day’s many accidents and spins and won for the seventh time of 2017.
 
Who Had a Good Day: Eight drivers moved on to the next round. Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Hamlin, Elliott, Blaney, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. (Read More) For Busch it was a great comeback after coming into the weekend seven points below the cutline and now has a chance to run for a second title. Johnson’s hopes for an eighth championship remained alive despite spinning out twice on Sunday but he was able to finish the race and remain in the title hunt.
 
Who Had a Bad Day: The four drivers knocked out of the playoff picture had the worst day imaginable. Stenhouse Jr. made contact with the wall...McMurray got caught up in the day’s biggest accident that brought out a red flag...Kenseth got damage in that incident but was ultimately disqualified for having too many men over the wall working on his car (Read More)...Larson’s title hopes literally went up in smoke with a blown engine (Read More). Erik Jones, who triggered the big accident and nearly flipped when he hit the backstretch outside wall, Danica Patrick, Joey Logano and Daniel Suarez all were also swept up in the incident.
 
What Else Happened: The crazy day included the controversial penalty on Truex Jr. dropping below the line and continued throughout the day with many playoff drivers experiencing challenges. The flip-flop of Talladega and Kansas in the second round proved to not be a cure for wild stories and the playoff picture was impacted dramatically after the Hollywood Casino 400.
 
Quotable: “It is what it is. Things happen,” Kyle Larson after exiting the race with a blown engine.
 
Notable: Blaney had his best finish since winning at Pocono earlier this year…Hamlin has finished sixth or better in seven of the last nine races of 2017…Larson suffered his first engine-related DNF in his full-time Cup career.

 

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