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Martin Truex Jr Wins at Homestead

Martin Truex Junior continued his post-season domination of mile-and-a-half ovals on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, holding off a late charge from Kyle Busch to win the Ford EcoBoost 400 and claim his first Monster Energy Series championship.  Truex won four of the five playoff races run on intermediate-sized ovals this fall including yesterday’s season finale, in which there was little drama until the closing laps.  All qualifiers in The Championship Four – Truex, Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski – ran consistently in the top five for much of the day and all came away with top-ten finishes.  Down the stretch, Busch drove past Harvick to take second place and then set his sights on Truex, who kept his rival in the rear-view mirror and delivered Furniture Row Racing’s first Cup Series title.  The margin of victory over Busch was sixty-eight one-hundredths of a second.  Kyle Larson led a race-high 145 laps and ran third with Harvick and Chase Elliott completing the top five.  Keselowski came home in seventh place … Pole winner Denny Hamlin failed to lead a lap and placed ninth.  Truex started alongside Hamlin on the front row and quickly put the field behind him at the drop of the green flag – leading four times for seventy-eight laps, matching his car number.

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Martin Truex Jr Wins at Vegas

Martin Truex Junior charged past a fading Brad Keselowski in the closing laps Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and drove to victory on a day that ended with Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and his Team Penske pit crew scuffling after contact between those two drivers on the final lap of the race.  After being separated from Logano and his crew by NASCAR officials, Busch exited pit road with a small stream of blood trickling down his face.  Logano was unmarked and unfazed by the post-race developments, chalking things up to – QUOTE – “racing hard.”  Truex was hard to beat yesterday, sweeping the first two segments and leading a race-high 150 laps in notching his eighth career victory and first on the mile-and-a-half desert oval.  He beat runner-up Kyle Larson to the checkered flag by a second-and-a-half with Chase Elliott taking third place.  Logano held on for fourth with pole sitter Keselowski completing the top five.  Busch’s issue on the last lap sent him sliding to a twenty-second-place finish … With his sweep of all three segments of Sunday’s race, Truex is the first driver to win a stage and also win the race through the first three weeks of the season.  The victory should help his Number-78 Furniture Row Racing team build momentum for the trip to Phoenix Raceway after opening the season with finishes of thirteenth and eighth … Keselowski’s fifth-place finish lifted him into the regular-season lead in the Cup Series standings, by one point over Larson … Joe Gibbs Racing rookie Daniel Suarez finished twentieth on Sunday, the very day crew chief Dave Rogers was celebrating his 43rd birthday.

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Recap of Last Year’s Daytona 500#

Denny Hamlin charged from fourth to first on the final lap, passing teammate Matt Kenseth for the lead and then surviving a dramatic side-by-side duel down the stretch with Martin Truex Junior that ended with Hamlin scratching out the victory by a mere one one-hundredths of a second.  It’s the closest finish in the fifty-eight-year history of the Daytona 500.  After taking the white flag, race leader Kenseth went to the high side to block a fast-closing Hamlin and when he did, the Number-11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota darted into the middle lane and into the lead.  Truex briefly got a nose in front before Hamlin reclaimed the lead to win by an estimated four inches … Kyle Busch finished third and Carl Edwards was fifth, giving Joe Gibbs Racing three of the top five finishing positions.  Kevin Harvick rode home in fourth place.  After losing the lead to Hamlin on the final lap, Kenseth slipped back in the field and finished fourteenth … Pole sitter Chase Elliott suffered damage to his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in an early-race spin and lost a number of laps while repairs were made.  He finished thirty-seventh.

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Truex Jr Wins at Dover

Martin Truex Junior dominated Dover’s “Monster Mile” on Sunday, storming into the second round of the Chase with his fourth win of the year and second in three weeks of post-season competition. Truex started second and led a race-high 187 laps in notching his seventh career victory and second at Dover International Speedway. His lead grew to nearly ten seconds during the second half of the race and the final margin of victory over runner-up Kyle Busch was seven-point-five seconds. Rookie Chase Elliott finished third with pole sitter Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth completing the top five. Chase contenders grabbed nine of the top ten finishing positions with Jeff Gordon riding home in tenth place subbing for Dale Earnhardt Junior. There were just five drivers running on the lead lap with Truex at the checkered flag … Sunday’s race was the final stop in the opening round of the post-season Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Three-time champion Tony Stewart finished thirteenth, but it wasn’t enough to prevent elimination. He joined Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray, and rookie Chris Buescher in being dropped from title contention. Buescher finished twenty-third on Sunday, Larson twenty-fifth and McMurray fortieth. Larson, at Number-10, was the highest-seeded driver in that quartet … In finishing second on Sunday, Busch – the top seed in the post-season Chase – led three times for 102 laps … Kenseth was looking for a season sweep at Dover after winning there in mid-May but fell short, settling for fifth place.

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Martin Truex Jr Wins at Chicagoland

Martin Truex Junior stormed past race leader Ryan Blaney on the day’s final restart Sunday and drove away to his third victory of the season as the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup opened at Chicagoland Speedway. However, Truex’s Number-78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota failed inspection after the race. Any penalties will most likely be announced at mid-week. It was the second winning vehicle to fail post-race inspection over the weekend. Kyle Busch won Friday’s Camping World Truck Series race, but his Number-18 Toyota lost in the inspection line … As for Sunday’s post-season opener in the Sprint Cup Series, Truex and others pitted for fresh tires on the day’s final caution while Blaney rolled the dice and stayed out to preserve track position. Truex’s crew got him back on the track first. He then easily dispatched Blaney en route to his sixth career win, which automatically qualified Truex for a spot in the next round of the Chase … so long as he does not fall victim to NASCAR’s beefed-up post-season penalty scale that could strip him of the automatic advancement. Truex’s post-race infraction Sunday is reportedly not substantial enough to warrant that type of penalty … Joey Logano finished second to Truex with rookie Chase Elliott grabbing third place. Blaney held on for fourth with Brad Keselowski completing the top five. Jimmie Johnson led a race-high 118 laps but was slowed by a speeding penalty on pit road. He finished twelfth.

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Martin Truex Jr Wins the Coca Cola 600

Martin Truex Junior started from the pole and led all but eight of the four hundred laps run Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, rolling to one of the most lopsided Cup Series wins in NASCAR’s sixty-eight-year history. He darted away from the field at the drop of the green flag and kept the Number-78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota in front throughout the night – beating runner-up Kevin Harvick to the checkered flag by two-and-a-half seconds. At one point with just under a hundred laps remaining, Jimmie Johnson had whittled Truex’s lead down to three-quarters of a second. But Truex quickly reasserted his dominance coming out of a restart less than a hundred miles from the finish, easily motoring on to his fourth career victory and first this season. Johnson finished third with Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski completing the top five … Defending race winner Carl Edwards placed eighteenth in his bid for back-to-back “Six Hundred” victories, slowed by a speeding penalty on pit road … Joey Logano, winner of last weekend’s Sprint All-Star Race, was seeking to become just the eighth driver to win both the All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 in the same season. But he was penalized when his Team Penske pit crew went over the wall too soon on a stop during the second half of the race, though Logano did rally from that adversity to finish ninth … Truex becomes just the second driver in eighteen years to win NASCAR’s longest race from the pole position. The other is Johnson, who did it twice: in 2004 and 2014 … There were just nine lead changes Sunday, thirteen fewer than last year’s race, among four drivers: Truex, Johnson, Logano and Paul Menard.

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Crew Chief Suspended

Adam Stevens – Kyle Busch’s Sprint Cup Series crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing – has been suspended for one race, fined twenty thousand dollars and placed on probation through December 31st. After last weekend’s victory at Kansas Speedway, Stevens was found to have violated NASCAR’s new rule which states that “all five lug nuts must be installed in a safe and secure manner” during pit stops. Front tire changer Josh Leslie was also suspended for one race and placed on probation through the end of the year … In addition, NASCAR announced that five Sprint Cup teams were issued written warnings for failing pre-qualifying inspection at Kansas Speedway. Teams in violation were those of drivers A-J Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson, Regan Smith and Martin Truex Junior … The next stop for Sprint Cup Series teams will be Dover International Speedway, where Johnson has won three of the last four spring races and owns ten victories overall.

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Busch Has 6 Cup Wins So Far This Year

With Kyle Busch’s victory last weekend at Kansas Speedway, the list of Sprint Cup Series winners this season is holding steady at six. If there are eleven new names in Victory Lane over the final fifteen regular-season races, then there’ll be one driver with a race win to his credit that will not get a spot on the 2016 Chase Grid – which will include only the sixteen top eligible drivers based primarily on race wins. The list of drivers who won last season but are still without a victory in 2016 includes Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Junior, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Junior … Of those five drivers, Logano is the only one who’s not yet tasted victory in a Cup Series race at “The Monster Mile,” though he’s won four X-FINITY Series races there.

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Martin Truex Jr Joins 2017 Sprint Unlimited Field

Martin Truex Junior has joined Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Kyle and Kurt Busch, and rookie Chase Elliott on the list of drivers newly eligible for next year’s Sprint Unlimited non-points special event as a result of their qualifying efforts in 2016. The non-points special event features pole winners from the previous season and traditionally kicks off Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Truex earned the Number-1 starting spot for this past weekend’s Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway with a speed of 190.921 miles per hour. He finished fourteenth in the race … Next stop in the Sprint Cup Series is Dover International Speedway for Sunday’s Triple-A 400 Drive for Autism. Chevrolet has a six-race winning streak on “The Monster Mile” dating back to 2013 – with Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart contributing to the recent run of success. Johnson has three of those wins.

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At Last Year’s NASCAR Kansas Race…

Jimmie Johnson’s mastery of mile-and-a-half ovals in 2015 continued on a damp Saturday night … and early Sunday morning … at Kansas Speedway. After opting to remain on the track while others pitted during the race’s final caution, Johnson turned track position into a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane. The race was interrupted by a rain delay of more than two hours, with the six-time champion finally taking the checkered flag just past midnight, local time. The race was the fourth of the season to be contested on intermediate-sized ovals and Johnson won three of them in the early months of the campaign: in Atlanta, Texas and then Kansas City. He led just once all night, but it came when it counted most – over the final ten laps. His margin of victory over runner-up Kevin Harvick was a half-second. Dale Earnhardt Junior and Jeff Gordon also chose to remain on the track during that final caution and it paid off with finishes of third and fourth, respectively. Pole sitter Joey Logano completed the top five … Martin Truex Junior started fourth, led a race-high ninety-five laps and seemed poised to end a sixty-six-race winless streak. However, he needed to pit for fuel during the final caution and wound up with a ninth-place finish.

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