Truex Pulls Away on Final Restart to Win at Pocono Raceway
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. had his car parked on the White House lawn and was feted with a day in his honor in his home state of New Jersey. Nearly seven months after winning his first NASCAR Cup championship, Truex's whirlwind victory tour remains on a barnstorming schedule.
Lost in the shuffle in a season where Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have turned the Cup Series into a two-driver show, Truex came to Pocono and gave the field a reminder that he's still a driver to beat in the championship race.
Truex stayed out on pivotal caution late in the race to take the lead, then pulled away off a restart with seven laps left to win Sunday at Pocono Raceway and thrust himself into title contention.
Truex said it with a straight face, as the 37-year-old Furniture Row Racing driver is still having the type of season that — oh, all but two drivers — would love to produce. He won the fifth race of the season at Fontana and had runner-up finishes in each of the last two races headed into Pocono where he won his first race for FRR in 2015 and launched his journeyman-to-champion career metamorphosis.
Still, Busch and Harvick had made a habit of collecting checkered flags; the two former Cup champions combined to win nine of the first 13 races. And each driver spent enough time in front — Harvick led 89 laps; Busch 13 — that a one-two finish at Pocono seemed almost certain on the 2 1/2-mile track.
Truex and Harvick each stayed out on a caution with 20 laps left in the race. Busch made a pit stop and surrendered the lead to Truex. Truex then held off a hard-charging Kyle Larson down the stretch and showed he's still a threat to win his second straight title.
The Harvick-Busch-Truex champions trio have won 10 of 14 races. Larson was second, followed by Busch and Harvick. Brad Keselowski was fifth.
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