Martin Truex Jr. scored his second win of the season, and second at Pocono Raceway, in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400.
Truex Jr. overcame a slow pit stop early in the race to lead 31 laps en route to his 17th career win.
“Can’t say enough about everybody on this team,” Truex Jr. said. “I feel like we’re getting back to what we were doing last year.
“Honestly, we were all equal it was a matter of who could get out front. (Crew chief) Cole (Pearn) made a good call to stay out, and once we got in clean air, this thing was a rocket ship.”
Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.
“Once I got back there, I couldn’t pass those guys,” said Busch, who pitted for fresh tires on a late caution and gave up track position. “I was stuck where I was at. Four tires just didn’t do anything today, it was all about being out front.”
Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott completed the first 10 finishers.
Truex Jr., and Harvick won the first two stages.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Michigan International Speedway next Sunday afternoon.
How Truex Jr. Won: The decision to stay out rather than pit for fresh tires to maintain track position proved to be the winning call. Truex Jr. maintained the top spot on the final two restarts coming after caution flags, first for Denny Hamlin’s spin and the second when Joey Logano’s contact with Erik Jones sent him spinning into the inside front wall. Once Truex Jr. held off Larson on the last restart, he got into the beneficial clean air and raced his way to Victory Lane.
Who Had a Good Day: Larson scored his fourth runner-up finish since his last win at Richmond in September 2017 (Read More)…Kyle Busch has finished in the top three nine times this season…Kevin Harvick finished fourth after lead a race-high 89 laps and winning Stage 2 (Read More)…Blaney scored his best finish since his sixth at Texas in April…Johnson led a lap for the first time in 2018.
Who Had a Bad Day: Hamlin spun after getting contact from Alex Bowman…Jones wound up finishing 29th after his late race incident….Kasey Kahne was eliminated from the race because of a transmission problem…Bubba Wallace missed a shift and damaged his engine becoming the first driver to exit the race…Matt DiBenedetto suffered a mechanical failure and was sidelined just after the start of the final stage.
What Else Happened: The “Big Three” of the season continued to dominate on Sunday with Harvick, Kyle Busch and Truex Jr. all showing the way throughout the race. Restarts again proved to cause the most drama and passing when the green flag reappeared either after a stage break of caution flag for incidents or debris proved to be the best option throughout the afternoon.
Quotable: “If these guys keep blocking me they’re going to see something happen,” Martin Truex Jr.
Notable: Almirola has six top-10 finishes as many as he had all of last year in 29 starts…Sunday was the fourth time Team Penske had all three cars finish in the top-10 (Read More)…Toyota now has 117 career Cup Series victories.