MENCS: Martin Truex Jr. Continues Championship Quest With Charlotte Motor Speedway Victory
Martin Truex Jr. went to victory lane for the sixth time of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The win did not come easy for the veteran from New Jersey as the race went into NASCAR Overtime.
With 57 laps remaining, Truex passed Kevin Harvick on the restart and held onto the lead for the rest of the way to take the two-car Furniture Row Racing team from Denver to victory lane. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran will leave the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway with his 13th career victory in the series.
The race went into NASCAR Overtime because the No. 41 of Kurt Busch went around in turn one. That forced NASCAR to display the yellow flag for the 10th time of the afternoon and gave heavy hitters Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott another shot of going to victory lane.
Busch went on to finish 22nd following the on-track incident.
Chase Elliott will leave with the runner-up spot for the second straight week. Elliott led the field for 12 laps in his No. 24 Chevrolet and sat inside the top 10 for majority of the afternoon.
The Georgia native, who announced this week that he’ll pilot the No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports next season, was 0.911 seconds away from scoring his first career premier series victory.
Elliott will go into Talladega Superspeedway next week with nine top five and 17 top 10 finishes through 30 races.
Kevin Harvick will round out the top three finishers on Sunday at Charlotte. Harvick led 149 of the 337 laps of the Bank of America 500 after starting in third. The California native went on to win both stages of the event.
Harvick will leave Charlotte with 10 top five and 18 top 10 finishes with one victory through 30 races. The series veteran and favorite to win the championship holds an average finish of 11.9 and an average start 8.7 as the series heads to Talladega.
Daniel Suarez will be the highest finishing non-playoff and rookie driver on Sunday at Charlotte. Suarez scored his fourth top 10 finish in the last five races with a sixth-place finish at the 1.5-mile oval. The young driver goes into Talladega next weekend looking to score his first career victory in the series.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. salvaged a 13th-place finish despite a pit road speeding penalty with 10 laps remaining. Stenhouse was one of the drivers that found themselves running just inside or outside the top 10 all afternoon long. The finish certainly gives the No. 17 crew momentum as they go to Talladega next weekend.
It was a rough day for NASCAR playoff driver Kyle Busch. Despite leading 22 circuits, Busch’s issues started on lap 135 in turn three. It’d go from bad to worse for the Las Vegas native as he brought out the caution on lap 278 in turn two and 325 in turn three.
Despite going through all that, and battling fumes inside the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran finished six laps down in 29th.
With the fumes inside the car, Busch had to lay down in the synthetic turf after the race as medical workers attended to him. He was able to get up on his own power and walk to the ambulance where he visited the infield care center to receive oxygen.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will head to Talladega Superspeedway for the Alabama 500. Coverage will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET. on NBC. The Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Ch. 90 will carry the live radio broadcast.
Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.
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