Martin Truex Jr. scored his second win in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night when he took the checkered flag for the third time this season.
Truex, who also won the 600 in 2016, came back from early damage when he had a tire go down to lead 116 laps en route to his 22nd career win. He has won three of the last five races this season.
“I don’t know what else, to say, just an awesome team and blessed to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing,” Truex Jr. said. “Thanks to Coach and everybody for the opportunity…I knew there was a hole at the bottom and that was my only opportunity.”
It wasn’t easy by any means for Truex Jr. who had an encounter with the wall earlier in the race.
“I don’t know how we did it,” he said. “We blew that right front tire early and thought ‘that’s not good.’ These 1.5s have been tough on us this year, Kansas was a reality check for us.”
Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top five.
“Had a rough start to this thing, guys did a good job fixing it up so we were competitive at the end,” Logano said. “That’s all you can ask for. To be that close to the Coke 600, that’s a really big deal as a Coke driver.”
Chris Buescher, Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson, William Byron and Kevin Harvick completed the first 10 finishers.
Brad Keselowski won the first two stages while Truex Jr. took the third. Stage Points
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Pocono Raceway next Sunday afternoon.
How Truex Jr. Won: Truex Jr. was lined up third on the final restart and had to put on a daring maneuver to wrestle away the lead. Once he got to the top spot he had to fight off Logano, finally pulling away in the last two circuits to cement the win.
Who Had a Good Day: Logano scored his best career Coca-Cola 600 finish…Elliott notched his fourth straight top-five finish…Stenhouse Jr. had his first top-five finish of the season (Read More)…Buescher also had his best finish of 2019 (Read More).
Who Had a Bad Day: Erik Jones has had a feast or famine year and that continued Sunday night but not in a good way. He had a tire go down early in Stage 1 and after hitting the wall, his car suffered enough damage to eliminate him from the race…A similar fate was suffered by Matt DiBenedetto, who also experience a right front tire problem that sent him into the wall… Ryan Preece joined the parade with a similar scenario just 11 laps from the end of Stage 2…Denny Hamlin joined the infamous list when he also experienced a tire issue that sent him into the wall in Stage 2. While Hamlin continued on he was involved in another crash on the last lap of the race and his car suffered significant damage…Bayley Currey crashed hard when he was tagged in the rear bumper by Truex Jr…Kurt Busch had a solid run going until he spun in the final stage and his car received damage after his car made contact with brother Kyle Busch’s machine…A multi-car accident in the final stage broke out when Kyle Larson got loose and before it was over Austin Dillon, Clint Bower, Ty Dillon and Ryan Preece were swept up in the incident.
What Else Happened: There was much discussion about what the 600 would look like in the aftermath of last week’s All-Star Race, which featured intense racing from nearly start to finish. The shorter segments and bursts of racing in most part led to why the All-Star Race featured such tight competition. But because of the many restarts in the 600, there was a great deal of similar racing on display throughout the night and passes for position were definitely trending on an upward direction all race long.
Quotable: “Woohoo. God bless America,” Kyle Busch on his in-car radio after being told he’ll restart seventh after losing spots on pit road.
Notables: The race lasted 4 hours 52 minutes and 47 seconds…16 cautions were the second most in the 600…All four Hendrick Motorsports cars finished in the top-10 for the first time in the 600 and the first time in a race since Texas in April 2016 (Read More).