Truex victorious after wild Kansas Cup race

Martin Truex Jr. checked out in overtime to win his second race of 2017 and his first at Kansas Speedway on Saturday night.

Truex victorious after wild Kansas Cup race
Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota, Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Start: Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford leads
Erik Jones, Furniture Row Racing Toyota in trouble
Crash involving Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports; Joey Logano,Team Penske; Danica Patrick, Stewart-Haas Racing

Truex led 104 laps in the Go Bowling.com 400 en route to his ninth career Monster Energy Cup Series win.

“Yes, Kansas, whoo, finally,” Truex said after taking the checkers. 

Brad Keselowski, who came from two laps down after a pit road penalty finished second followed by Kevin Harvick, polesitter Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch. 

Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top 10. 

Kurt Busch remained on the track when the leaders pitted after the second segment. He led the field to green on Lap 166 for the final segment on Saturdaynight. Truex peeked to the outside and Blaney took the lead with Larson and Kyle Busch in tow. Kurt Busch dropped to fifth, followed by Kahne, Hamlin, McMurray, Logano, Suarez, Harvick and Jones.   

Truex passed Blaney off of Turn 2 for the lead on Lap 180. Larson, Kyle Busch, Harvick, Kahne McMurray, Hamlin, Logano and Kurt Busch rounded out the top 10. After 10 laps, Truex extended his lead over Blaney by 2.3-seconds. Larson was third, Harvick fourth and Kyle Busch fifth. Twenty-nine cars remained on the lead lap. 

The 10th caution occurred after Paul Menard slammed into the wall in Turn 2 and AJ Allmendinger plowed into the back of the No. 27 Chevy. Truex was at the point followed by Blaney, Larson, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kahne, Hamlin, McMurray, Logano, Earnhardt and Kurt Busch. 

The leaders pitted with Blaney regaining the lead off of pit road. Truex was second followed by Kyle Busch, Larson, Hamlin, Harvick, Logano, Kahne, Kurt Busch and McMurray when the race went green on Lap 198. 

Race-stopping incident

As the field came through Turn 1 and into Turn 2 on Lap 200, Logano broke a right front brake rotor and his car turned into Danica Patrick, who he was battling for 12th-place. Aric Almirola, who restarted 22nd, slid through the oil and into the melee.  

The race was red-flagged for 27 minutes and 41 seconds as emergency service workers removed Almirola from his car. Logano and Patrick were evaluated and released from the Infield Care Center. Almirola was airlifted to University of Kansas Medical Center for further evaluation. 

Blaney led the field to green on Lap 205. Truex, Kyle Busch, Larson, Hamlin, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Daniel Suarez, Kahne and Erik Jones rounded out the top 10. Ten laps later, Jones spun in Turn 2 to bring out the 12th caution. 

With 40 laps remaining, Blaney held a 0.649-second advantage over Kyle Busch. Truex was third followed by Harvick, Hamlin, McMurray, Kurt Busch, Larson, Keselowski and Stenhouse. Truex and Harvick passed Busch two laps later. Busch radioed he was “wrecking loose”.

Truex took the lead on Lap 243 just prior to Gray Gaulding’s wreck. Jones stayed out while the leaders pitted on the 13th caution. Blaney was the first car off of pit road with four tires followed by Truex, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Larson, Johnson, Stenhouse, Suarez and Keselowski.

Truex pushed Blaney then moved to the outside to take the lead on the backstretch. As the cars crossed the line with 18 to go, Truex led followed by Blaney, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

Truex extended his lead to a half-second with 15 laps remaining. Blaney, Harvick, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson completed the top five. 

Ty Dillon spun Jones with nine laps remaining in the race to give the No. 77 the caution hat trick. Truex led followed by Blaney, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Johnson, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Larson and Suarez. 

Truex was at the point with five laps remaining, when Kurt Busch got loose, made contact with Hamlin who bounced Johnson out of formation. Following the 15th caution, the race went into overtime on Lap 266. Truex held on and extended his lead over Keselowski by 1.1-second at the finish. 

"They're all so special," said Truex. "These races are so hard to win. On any of those restarts, we could have gotten beat or something could have happened. You just never know. I'm just so happy for everybody on this team and all my guys. 
 
"I knew if I could get out front on those restarts, I'd be fine. If I came out third, it would take me a long time to get good enough to pass those guys. I knew I had to go. I knew I had to make it happen. It was pretty awesome tonight."
 

There were 21 lead changes among nine drivers. The race was slowed by 15 cautions for 61 laps. 

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 267 3:24'23 104
2 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 267 1.100  
3 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 267 1.625 10
4 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 267 1.842 83
5 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 267 2.045 59
6 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 267 2.068  
7 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 267 2.297  
8 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 267 2.373  
9 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 267 2.800 3
10 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 267 3.085 1

CLICK HERE for complete race results

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