Wednesday, Feb 01

MENCS: Martin Truex Jr. Scores Emotional Win at Kansas Speedway

Martin Truex Jr. will walk away with his seventh victory of the season on Sunday at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. Truex, who led 91 of the 267-laps, had an up and down day in the Hollywood Casino 400.

The win did not come easy for the New Jersey native. On lap 35, Truex had to serve a pass through penalty because of a restart violation. He then had another issue later on that backed the driver up even more.

In addition, Furniture Row Racing woke up to some tough news this morning as they learned the passing of crew member and fabricator Jim Watson. Watson was working with the team this weekend at Kansas.

Truex will now hold 15 top five and 22 top 10 finishes going into Martinsville Speedway next week -- in addition to his seven victories. The series veteran is one of the dangerous drivers to look out for as the NASCAR Playoffs roll on.

Kurt Busch will leave with a runner-up finish in the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford with Stewart Haas Racing. The Las Vegas native started the afternoon in 15th and sat outside the top 10 at the end of each stage.

Early on in the race, Busch got into the wall and fell a lap down as a result. He’ll leave Kansas with his sixth top five and 14th top 10 finish of the year.

Ryan Blaney rounded out the top three finishers on Sunday. Blaney qualified third on Friday but had his time disallowed because the car did not pass post-qualifying inspection. As a result, Blaney started 40th on the leaderboard.

Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Several big names and NASCAR Playoff contenders were involved in on-track incidents over the course of the race.

Jimmie Johnson got involved in a pair of cautions on lap 187 and 192. Despite the result, Johnson finished 11th on the leaderboard.

Kyle Larson’s day ended short on lap 76 as the engine expired on the No. 42 Chevrolet. His hopes of scoring the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship dried as a result.

“Well it just dropped a cylinder 10 laps ago or so and then it suddenly got worse and finally blew up,” Larson said after the race. “I hate that we blew an engine and probably blew our shot at the championship, but luck is a big factor of our sport.”

Jamie McMurray’s day ended on lap 197 in a 14-car wreck on the backstretch. The Joplin, Mo., native, racing at his hometrack, finished 34th and 69 laps down.

“It just looked like the No. 77 (Erik Jones) got loose. I saw him and it looked like he over-corrected,” said McMurray after the incident. “And then actually, I didn’t think I was going to hit him and I didn’t have that much contact with him, but someone came through later on and got into me a little bit harder. I had a really fast car. I thought we had one of the best cars, and I felt like if we could have gotten to the lead, I could have led the race for a while. It was a good Cessna Chevy. But we’ve had two bad races in a row and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Danica Patrick also offered her side of it.

“I came out and said, ‘I got a turkey’, three in a row. That is some bad luck,” said Patrick. “The Code 3 car was just stated to get better, just starting to get hooked up actually. I actually felt like I was catching the right lanes and right movements on the track and having good restarts. Would have been nice to finish one off. We haven’t done that in awhile. When the 77 came across the track it kind of reminded me of Charlotte. Is it four in a row? Gosh. I can’t even remember anymore it is terrible. Charlotte, the 38 spun. The trajectory is like a football. You never know which way they are going to bounce. It was mayhem. I will see a replay and maybe a hole I should have taken. From the cockpit I was just trying to slow down and miss the 77 but you can’t see every car around you.”

NASCAR Playoff Standings After Kansas:





Martin Truex Jr.



Kyle Busch



Brad Keselowski



Kevin Harvick



Jimmie Johnson



Denny Hamlin



Ryan Blaney



Chase Elliott


The series will head to Martinsville Speedway next Sunday for the First Data 500. Coverage will begin at 1:00 p.m. ET. on NBCSN. The Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Ch. 90 will carry the live radio broadcast.

Brett Winningham

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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