Truex takes Stage 2 victory at Kentucky
Martin Truex Jr. collected his 13th stage win in segment 2 of Saturday’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
He led Kyle Busch by 2.016-seconds at the line. Truex led 48 of the first 160 laps.
Matt Kenseth was third followed by Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott.
Truex told the No. 78 team, “Let’s keep our focus here,” before restarting the second segment. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson restarted 22nd and 23, respectively, after receiving speeding penalties during pit stops.
Busch passed Truex for the lead entering Turn 2 on the Lap 87 restart. Before completing the first lap, Keselowski slid up into the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson and also collected Clint Bowyer in Turns 3 and 4 to ignite the third caution.
The race returned to green on Lap 93. Busch held the lead with Truex in pursuit. The field completed the first circuit. While entering Turn 1, Kasey Kahne stuck his nose under the No. 6 Ford of Trevor Bayne for 11th-place and sent the cars into the spin cycle.
A dozen cars came down pit road during the fourth caution. Kyle Busch remained on the track along with Truex, Harvick, Kenseth, McMurray, Elliott, Kurt Busch, Jones, Logano, Newman and Bowyer. Stenhouse, Earnhardt, Blaney, Suarez, Hamlin, Larson, Wallace, Allmendinger and Patrick rounded out the top 20 when the race returned to green on Lap 100.
After the first five laps, Kyle Busch and Truex broke away from the pack by two-seconds. Kenseth, Harvick, Elliott, Jones, McMurray, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Stenhouse, Blaney and Larson completed the top 12.
The fifth caution was triggered by Bayne spinning off of Turn 4 on Lap 112. Busch held a 1.351-second lead over Truex. Kenseth, Harvick, Elliott, Jones, McMurray, Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Larson rounded out the top 10. Elliott, Logano and Earnhardt pitted during the caution.
Busch led the field to green on Lap 117. Harvick moved to the outside of Truex to take second-place at the line. Truex came back around for second in the first turn.
Truex was reminded by crew chief Cole Pearn to conserve fuel. Driver replies, “I’m saving, I’m saving.”
After 10 laps, Busch’s lead was 1.027-seconds over Truex. Harvick, Kenseth, Jones, Larson, Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Hamlin and McMurray rounded out the top 10.
As the No. 18 car encountered traffic, Truex closed in and passed Busch for the lead on Lap 134. Harvick remained third followed by Jones, Larson, Bowyer, Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray.
Joey Gase ignited the sixth caution on Lap 136. Truex held the point followed by Kyle Busch, Harvick, Kenseth, Jones, Larson and Bowyer. Hamlin was the first on pit road followed by Elliott. Logano, Blaney, Wallace, Newman, Menard, Kurt Busch, Suarez, Stenhouse and Patrick also pitted. Blaney was busted on pit road.
When the race returned to green on Lap 141, Truex was in the lead followed by Kyle Busch, Harvick, Kenseth, Jones, Larson, Bowyer, McMurray, Allmendinger and Earnhardt. McMurray and Larson made contact on the restart and the No. 42 dropped, reporting he was loose.
Kenseth passed Harvick and Earnhardt picked up three positions after the first lap.
Kurt Busch, who restarted 14th, passed Allmendinger for ninth on Lap 144. Larson was 11th followed by Elliott Hamlin, Stenhouse and Wallace.
With 10 laps remaining, Truex advantage over Busch was 1.2-seconds. Kenseth, Harvick and Jones held onto the top five. McMurray, Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Earnhardt and Elliott completed the top-five.
Kurt Busch passed his teammate for seventh with five laps remaining.
Twenty-two cars remained on the lead lap following Stage 2.
Truex wins Stage 1 at Kentucky over Kyle Busch
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