Truex Jr. wins on fumes at Watkins Glen

Monday 7th August, 2017 - 7:51am

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Truex scored his first win at Watkins Glen

Martin Truex Jr. has taken his fourth win of the NASCAR season as he held off Matt Kenseth by metres in a fuel saving race at Watkins Glen.

Truex crossed the line weaving as he got the all-important fuel that he needed to score the win and break the heart of Kenseth, who is yet to win in 2017.

Over the final period of the race Truex played the fuel game to perfection as he didn’t race guys and dropped his pace to ensure making it through to the finish. With crew chief Cole Pearn and former Supercar engineer Peter Craik calling the shots, Truex followed the plan.

As Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney passed him, they would then soon come to pit road, but Kenseth was coming fast, but came up just short.

“I’m kind of speechless really I didn’t think it would play out there,” said Truex.

“But I’m super excited and great to win at this place. You want to win at road courses and we have won at both of them.

“That was so stressful letting guys pass me for the lead.

“I have never had to do that before and I had so much trust in what Cole was telling me what to do. He knew based on our lap times what we had to do.

“This is a big one for our team and really proud of Cole and his perseverance.

Kyle Busch won Stage 1 in dominant fashion. However, a loose wheel during the following round of pit stops meant he had to come back to pit road and started off the back. He would climb back to ninth at the end of Stage 2 which was won by Daniel Suarez.

Busch collided with Brad Keselowski at the ‘Inner Loop’ while battling for eighth after the re-start in the final stage.

Clint Bowyer got into the mix with a fuel only stop, along with Jamie McMurray, which had them pushing Brad Keselowski during the early part of the final stage after a caution outside the pit window. Keselowski had pitted four laps earlier and before the final caution, meaning he was outside the fuel window through to the finish.

He pitted with three laps remaining, while Blaney came to pit road one lap later. From that point Truex did more than enough to take the race.

It was a poor weekend for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who struggled for pace through practice and qualifying before an engine issue ended his race early.

VIDEO: Race wrap

VIDEO: Victory Lane

RESULTS: I Love New York 355 – Watkins Glen International

Cla # Driver Make Laps Laps Led
1 78  Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 90 24
2 20  Matt Kenseth Toyota 90
3 19  Daniel Suarez Toyota 90 14
4 11  Denny Hamlin Toyota 90
5 14  Clint Bowyer Ford 90
6 41  Kurt Busch Ford 90
7 18  Kyle Busch Toyota 90 21
8 21  Ryan Blaney Ford 90 2
9 47  A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 90
10 77  Erik Jones Toyota 90
11 37  Chris Buescher Chevrolet 90
12 95  Michael McDowell Chevrolet 90
13 24  Chase Elliott Chevrolet 90 9
14 1  Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 90
15 2  Brad Keselowski Ford 90 20
16 5  Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 90
17 4  Kevin Harvick Ford 90
18 27  Paul Menard Chevrolet 90
19 13  Ty Dillon Chevrolet 90
20 17  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 90
21 43  Aric Almirola Ford 90
22 10  Danica Patrick Ford 90
23 42  Kyle Larson Chevrolet 90
24 22  Joey Logano Ford 90
25 31  Ryan Newman Chevrolet 90
26 3  Austin Dillon Chevrolet 90
27 38  David Ragan Ford 90
28 32  Matt DiBenedetto Ford 90
29 48  Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 90
30 33  Boris Said Chevrolet 89
31 15  Gary Klutt Chevrolet 89
32 83  Brett Moffitt Toyota 89
33 23  Corey Lajoie Toyota 89
34 72  Cole Whitt Chevrolet 81
35 6  Trevor Bayne Ford 80
36 34  Landon Cassill Ford 78
37 88  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 22

STANDINGS

Pos
Driver
Pts
Behind
Wins
Starts
Top 5’s
Top 10’s
Poles
1
Martin Truex Jr.
881
Leader
4
22
9
15
1
2
Kyle Busch
765
-116
1
22
8
12
6
3
Kyle Larson
759
-122
2
22
9
12
3
4
Kevin Harvick
746
-135
1
22
8
14
3
5
Denny Hamlin
687
-194
1
22
8
12
0
6
Brad Keselowski
681
-200
2
22
11
14
1
7
Chase Elliott
648
-233
0
22
6
12
1
8
Jamie McMurray
643
-238
0
22
2
11
0
9
Matt Kenseth
637
-244
0
22
6
10
1
10
Clint Bowyer
609
-272
0
22
5
10
0
11
Jimmie Johnson
574
-307
3
22
3
7
0
12
Ryan Blaney
565
-316
1
22
3
8
1
13
Joey Logano
542
-339
1
22
8
11
1
14
Kurt Busch
528
-353
1
22
2
10
0
15
Daniel Suarez
508
-373
0
22
1
8
0
16
Ryan Newman
503
-378
1
22
4
7
0
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
486
-395
2
22
4
7
1
18
Erik Jones
477
-404
0
22
1
7
0
19
Kasey Kahne
437
-444
1
22
3
4
0
20
Trevor Bayne
408
-473
0
22
0
2
0
21
Austin Dillon
406
-475
1
22
2
2
0
22
Paul Menard
382
-499
0
22
2
3
0
23
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
379
-502
0
22
1
4
1
24
Ty Dillon
378
-503
0
22
0
0
0
25
Michael McDowell
351
-530
0
22
1
1
0
26
AJ Allmendinger
349
-532
0
22
1
5
0
27
Chris Buescher
346
-535
0
22
0
2
0
28
Danica Patrick
325
-556
0
22
0
1
0
29
David Ragan
276
-605
0
22
0
2
0
30
Aric Almirola
242
-639
0
15
2
3
0
31
Matt DiBenedetto
242
-639
0
22
0
2
0
32
Cole Whitt
229
-652
0
22
0
0
0
33
Landon Cassill
227
-654
0
22
0
0
0
34
Corey LaJoie
147
-734
0
19
0
0
0
35
Gray Gaulding
105
-776
0
17
0
0
0
36
Reed Sorenson
91
-790
0
16
0
0
0
37
Jeffrey Earnhardt
90
-791
0
20
0
0
0
38
Michael Waltrip
29
-852
0
1
0
1
0
39
Derrike Cope
29
-852
0
10
0
0
0
40
Billy Johnson
15
-866
0
1
0
0
0
41
Boris Said
15
-866
0
2
0
0
0
42
Gary Klutt
6
-875
0
1
0
0
0
43
Alon Day
5
-876
0
1
0
0
0
44
Stephen Leicht
5
-876
0
1
0
0
0
45
Kevin O’Connell
4
-877
0
1
0
0
0
46
Cody Ware
4
-877
0
3
0
0
0
47
Tommy Regan
3
-878
0
1
0
0
0
48
D.J. Kennington
2
-879
0
2
0
0
0
49
Brendan Gaughan
0
-881
0
3
0
1
0
50
Darrell Wallace Jr.
0
-881
0
4
0
0
0
51
Timmy Hill
0
-881
0
12
0
0
0
52
Elliott Sadler
0
-881
0
3
0
0
0
53
Ross Chastain
0
-881
0
1
0
0
0
54
Joey Gase
0
-881
0
4
0
0
0
55
Regan Smith
0
-881
0
2
0
0
0
56
Ryan Sieg
0
-881
0
5
0
0
0
57
JJ Yeley
0
-881
0
3
0
0
0
58
Carl Long
0
-881
0
1
0
0
0
59
B.J. McLeod
0
-881
0
2
0
0
0
60
Brett Moffitt
0
-881
0
1
0
0
0
61
Josh Bilicki
0
-881
0
2
0
0
0