For the second consecutive season, Martin Truex Jr. put on a dominating performance to win the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
Truex Jr. started from the pole and swept all three stages leading 174 laps on his way to his fourth win of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
“We made it look easy last year but it certainly wasn’t,” Truex said. “Hats off to my guys for stickin’ with me all year. We’ve really been working hard on these race cars, trying to figure them out.”
It was Truex Jr.’s 19th career win.
Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski (Read More), Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.
Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson (Read More) and Joey Logano completed the first 10 finishers.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next Sunday, July 22nd.
How Truex Jr. Won: He was in cruise control most all night but did have to wrestle the lead away to secure the win. Truex Jr. got by Blaney with 44 laps to go and from there never looked back and was not challenged on his way to Victory Lane.
Who Had a Good Day: Blaney scored his first top-five finish since Texas in April and his fourth top five finish this season…Kyle Busch scored his series-best sixth Kentucky top-five finish…Harvick has 14 top-five finishes this season the most of any driver…Almirola had his best finish at Kentucky, the sixth track in 2018 that he had his best finish on, including three of the last five races.
Who Had a Bad Day: Alex Bowman cut a tire and slammed the wall damaging his car and exited the race on lap 109…Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had a tough night including a cut tire and wound up finishing 26th…JJ Yeley had an engine expire and hit the wall ending his night with 61 laps to go.
What Else Happened: Truex Jr. had the field covered so pit strategy and two tire calls for track position became a focal point. It worked to a degree (Keselowski finished third after a late call from crew chief Paul Wolfe) but passing on track was difficult as the two year old pavement continues to age.
Quotable: “Two in a row at a race track is pretty cool so, hell yeah!” – Truex Jr.
Notables: The gap between first to third was 8.446 seconds…Jesse Little made his Cup Series debut and finished 35th…Despite winning a series record seven times on mile-and-a-half tracks last year in his title campaign this was Truex’s first this season.