I knew all along that this track would race a whole lot better in the daytime than at night. Truex qualified for the third round of the playoffs and can credit his No. 78 Toyota pit crew for a almost flawless day that helped keep him up front despite several restarts in the closing laps. Truex will line up on the inside of Row 9.
“Thanks to my guys”. “But if we had three races like we did today, we’ll make it on points”. You just never know.
In the big picture, the win reaffirms what is already presumed: Truex is a virtual lock to be among the four drivers vying for the championship in the title round at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He’s lagging behind Truex, victor of the playoff opener at Chicago, and teammate Busch, victor the last two weeks. Denny Hamlin also stands out here as he makes both lists despite no wins as he has finished Top 5 three times in his last three races and seven times in his career with a 12.8 average finish. The most recent was Playoff driver Ricky Stenhouse, who won the 500-miler in April.
Pollex is battling ovarian cancer and has a chemotherapy treatment Monday.
So she stayed home and watched on television, posting a photo of herself following the victory.
Kyle Busch, who started fourth, had a forgettable day from the start. For someone with as fast a vehicle as he had, he didn’t even make it to the round of eight, not to mention the final four. His Michael Waltrip Racing team deliberately caused a caution that set in motion Truex winning a race that would have put him in the playoffs. He angered fellow veteran drivers when he suggested they may have to accept pay cuts. “It just hits you like a ton of bricks, and it hit me today in Victory Lane, and all of a sudden you can’t talk”.
The win should come as no surprise to NASCAR fans, as Truex has had the highest average finish at mile-and-a-half tracks, like Charlotte, of any driver this season, and it’s not even close.
“I don’t really know what to expect”, Larson said. The damage to his car’s crush panels had sent the temperature soaring in his Toyota. Kevin Harvick will start third after looking promising earlier in the day. Last year: Jimmie Johnson won on his way to a series championship. Harvick led 39 laps in the stage, second to Hamlin’s 40. He was running 23rd.
Worst moment: In the 2011 Coca-Cola 600, Earnhardt ran out of gas between Turns 3 and 4 while leading on the final lap. He lost a lap in the pits for repairs and later fell two laps back.
Standing next to his auto in victory lane, in this season he never thought possible, Martin Truex Jr. struggled with his emotions. The one-car team based in Denver had made significant progress with driver Kurt Busch, and team owner Barney Visser wanted to continue that upward trajectory after Busch moved on. Hamilton still leads the series by 34 points over Sebastian Vettel.
“That’s about where we were going to run, second or third”, Harvick said, adding that his Stewart Haas Racing crew had a solid day overall. He returned to the track four laps behind the leaders. He has only two finishes outside the top 10 at Charlotte since 2010.