Truex Jnr takes comeback win in Pocono 400

Speedcafe.com

Monday 4th June, 2018 - 12:00pm

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Martin Truex Jnr

Martin Truex Jnr fought back from a slow mid-race pit stop to notch up his second win of the year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono.

Truex Jnr, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch all seriously contended for the win but it was the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota that was on top when it mattered.

Kyle Larson in fact finished second in the #42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 2.50s behind the 2017 champion, and Kyle Busch rounded out the podium in the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Ryan Blaney started from pole in the #12 Team Penske Ford and led until he was passed by Harvick on Lap 12.

But for pit stops, Harvick held top spot until he was baulked by traffic six laps from the end of Stage 1.

The moment allowed Truex Jnr got a run on the #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and drive past on the outside.

While that move was decisive in the opening stage outcome, Truex Jnr was only 14th out of pit lane under yellow after an error during his stop.

Brad Keselowski headed the field at the restart in the #2 Team Penske Ford but was soon picked off by Harvick.

Car #4 continued to hold the effective lead and ultimately took out Stage 2 by 2.79s from Kyle Busch, as Truex Jnr climbed back to fourth.

Harvick retained top spot for the start of Stage 3, from Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch, and Truex Jnr.

Kyle Busch quickly moved into second position, one ahead of Larson, but Truex Jnr was back in the podium positions when Derrike Cope (#99 StarCom Racing Chevrolet) spun and drew the first unscheduled Caution on Lap 126.

The front-runners all pitted, after which Kyle Busch led Harvick, Blaney, Truex Jnr, and Larson.

Truex Jnr moved up to second at the restart and inherited first position when he stayed out at as a Caution was called for debris on Lap 139. Kyle Busch resumed in eighth with four new tyres.

That call proved pivotal as the top three of top three of Truex Jnr, Larson, and Harvick remained through two more Cautions, the first when Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) hit Alex Bowman (#88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) and then for a coming-together between Erik Jones (#20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske Ford).

Kyle Busch passed Harvick in the latter laps as Truex Jnr staved off Larson before pulling away at the end.

Harvick ultimately took fourth, from Keselowski, Blaney, Aric Almirola (#10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), Jimmie Johnson (#48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), Logano, and Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet).

The result nevertheless saw Harvick rise above Logano to second in the series and also draw level with leader Kyle Busch on playoff points.

Round 15 is the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 8-10 (local time).

Hamlin spins, hits Bowman

Race highlights

Results: Pocono 400, Pocono Raceway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 160 31 Running
2 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 160 0 Running
3 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 160 13 Running
4 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 160 89 Running
5 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 160 10 Running
6 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 160 11 Running
7 10 Aric Almirola Ford 160 0 Running
8 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 160 2 Running
9 22 Joey Logano Ford 160 0 Running
10 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 160 0 Running
11 21 Paul Menard Ford 160 0 Running
12 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 160 0 Running
13 6 Matt Kenseth Ford 160 0 Running
14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Ford 160 0 Running
15 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 160 0 Running
16 38 David Ragan Ford 160 0 Running
17 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 160 0 Running
18 24 William Byron Chevrolet 160 0 Running
19 41 Kurt Busch Ford 160 0 Running
20 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 160 0 Running
21 34 Michael McDowell Ford 160 0 Running
22 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 160 0 Running
23 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 160 0 Running
24 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 160 0 Running
25 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 160 0 Running
26 51 Cole Custer Ford 160 0 Running
27 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 160 0 Running
28 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 159 0 Running
29 20 Erik Jones Toyota 159 0 Running
30 72 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 158 0 Running
31 00 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 157 0 Running
32 7 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 157 0 Running
33 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 157 0 Running
34 99 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 152 0 Running
35 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 146 0 Crash
36 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 120 0 Transmission
37 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 113 0 Brakes
38 43 Darrell Wallace Jnr Chevrolet 108 4 Engine

Standings

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Pl’off pts
1 Kyle Busch 624 14 4 25
2 Kevin Harvick 537 -87 14 5 25
3 Joey Logano 534 -90 14 1 7
4 Martin Truex Jnr 487 -137 14 2 13
5 Brad Keselowski 474 -150 14 0 4
6 Clint Bowyer 453 -171 14 1 5
7 Kurt Busch 447 -177 14 0 2
8 Denny Hamlin 437 -187 14 0 1
9 Kyle Larson 425 -199 14 0 1
10 Ryan Blaney 413 -211 14 0 3
11 Aric Almirola 406 -218 14 0 0
12 Jimmie Johnson 360 -264 14 0 0
13 Chase Elliott 334 -290 14 0 0
14 Erik Jones 322 -302 14 0 0
15 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 319 -305 14 0 0
16 Alex Bowman 310 -314 14 0 0
17 Paul Menard 289 -335 14 0 1
18 Austin Dillon 269 -355 14 1 5
19 Daniel Suarez 258 -366 14 0 0
20 Jamie McMurray 253 -371 14 0 0
21 William Byron 249 -375 14 0 0
22 Ryan Newman 242 -382 14 0 0
23 Darrell Wallace Jnr 229 -395 14 0 0
24 AJ Allmendinger 229 -395 14 0 0
25 David Ragan 224 -400 14 0 0
26 Chris Buescher 204 -420 14 0 0
27 Michael McDowell 193 -431 14 0 0
28 Kasey Kahne 187 -437 14 0 0
29 Ty Dillon 178 -446 14 0 0
30 Matt DiBenedetto 155 -469 14 0 0
31 Trevor Bayne 145 -479 11 0 0
32 Gray Gaulding 94 -530 14 0 0
33 Cole Whitt 85 -539 8 0 0
34 Landon Cassill 70 -554 8 0 0
35 DJ Kennington 55 -569 5 0 0
36 Matt Kenseth 45 -579 3 0 0
37 Corey LaJoie 39 -585 6 0 0
38 Jeffrey Earnhardt 35 -589 6 0 0
39 Reed Sorenson 31 -593 7 0 0
40 Brendan Gaughan 24 -600 2 0 0
41 Harrison Rhodes 23 -601 5 0 0
42 Mark Thompson 15 -609 1 0 0
43 Derrike Cope 4 -620 2 0 0
44 Danica Patrick 2 -622 1 0 0
45 Justin Marks 0 -624 1 0 0
46 David Gilliland 0 -624 1 0 0
47 Ross Chastain 0 -624 13 0 0
48 Timothy Peters 0 -624 1 0 0
49 Cole Custer 0 -624 2 0 0
50 Joey Gase 0 -624 2 0 0
51 Parker Kligerman 0 -624 1 0 0
52 JJ Yeley 0 -624 3 0 0
53 Timmy Hill 0 -624 5 0 0
54 Daniel Hemric 0 -624 1 0 0
55 BJ McLeod 0 -624 2 0 0
56 Chad Finchum 0 -624 1 0 0
57 Cody Ware 0 -624 1 0 0

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