NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 results: Martin Truex Jr. scores third win of 2019

NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 results: Martin Truex Jr. scores third win of 2019

05/27/2019

Martin Truex Jr. scored his third win of 2019 Sunday.

He did it again although even he admitted he wasn’t sure how.  Martin Truex Jr. won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday night. Unlike his first win at the 1.5 mile oval where he led all but 8 laps there was no real domination Sunday.  Instead Truex emerged from a furious four-wide battle after a late race restart with four laps to go and held off his nemesis Joey Logano for his 22nd career win, his third of 2019 and his third at Charlotte and his second in NASCAR’s longest race.

And this win didn’t come easy.

With NASCAR’s new aero package there was little in the way of any sort of domination for any driver in NASCAR’s longest race.  Truex did lead a race high 116 of the 400 laps and was leading by over two seconds when on lap 74 he lost a right rear tire and smacked the wall.  He was able to escape with minimal damage but had to fight his way back through the field.

“I don’t know how we did it honestly,” Truex said. I blew that right-front tire earlier and hit the fence off (Turn) 4. I thought man, that’s not good. I know this car is pretty banged up. We just fought back from it. We kept working on the car and kept adjusting on the car.

“We had a pretty good car at the All-Star race last weekend, but we knew it wasn’t good enough. They went to work this week and made it better.”

The same tire issues seemed to plaque the entire Joe Gibbs Racing four car team. It started early when Erik Jones running 12th at the time lost a tire and went hard into the wall on lap 23 ending his day.   

Denny Hamlin led briefly but he too lost a tire and hit the wall on lap 160 bringing out the eighth of the races 18 cautions. Unlike Jones however, Hamlin was able to continue. But while running sixth on lap 359 he tapped the wall coming out of turn 4 causing another blown tire that sent him into the wall between turns 1 and 2.  He survived however and was again able to continue.

Only Kyle Busch was able to keep all four tires intact but even he didn’t finish unscathed.

Just after a restart on lap 307, Kurt Busch spun coming out of turn 4 while running fifth. Younger brother Kyle was clipped in the right rear but was able to continue.  He would lead the second most laps on the night 79.

“I thought that through much of the race we had a fast car,” Busch said. “We were there.  We led some laps, we ran around.  The 4 (Kevin Harvick) was fast, the 19 (Truex) was fast.  19 was the fastest car, so I’m not sure what they had different than us, but obviously we were just off a little bit, otherwise I felt like we had a race‑winning car capable of at least running second.”

The biggest crash of the night came just after a restart on lap 314. Kyle Larson who had met the wall on several occasions was running in the top five but got loose and spun coming out of turn 2. He slid up and into Clint Bowyer then down collecting Austin Dillon then back up the track clipping Ty Dillon.  Ryan Preece was also swept up.

“I just got in there and lost grip and slid up into Clint (Bowyer),” Larson said. “I got stuck in the middle and then just put myself in a bad spot and got sideways. So, it was an up and down day for us. I finally put myself in a good spot for about a lap and then screwed that up. So, that was all me. So, we’ll go wherever we race next week and try to do better.”

 

Sights from the NASCAR action at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday May 26, 2019

Sights from the NASCAR action at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday May 26, 2019

Sights from the NASCAR action at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday May 26, 2019

Sights from the NASCAR action at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday May 26, 2019

Sights from the NASCAR action at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday May 26, 2019

Sights from the NASCAR action at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday May 26, 2019

Sights from the NASCAR action at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday May 26, 2019

Sights from the NASCAR action at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday May 26, 2019

Sights from the NASCAR action at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday May 26, 2019

With NASCAR’s new aero package, the racing was close and chaotic highlighted by the final restart that saw Truex lined up third with teammate Kyle Busch behind him in fourth.  The six-lap shootout began with a cluster of cars and a four-wide run at the front that saw Truex emerge with the lead being chased by Logano who had restarted sixth.  Truex had the lead when the field took the white flag; Hamlin crashed on the backstretch and NASCAR allowed the race to play out with Truex winning by .330 seconds.

“I wish I was closer to the front,” Logano said. “But being on the outside row I thought I had a good shot.  When they were four-wide in front of me I went to push the 38 (David Ragan) ahead and got there, but I just didn’t quite get clear of Truex to come all the way down the racetrack.  It might have been better, the 38 ran really high and I thought he was gonna run in the middle and I kind of misjudged it and that’s what just killed a little bit of momentum to where Martin was able to just have enough momentum to clear me off that corner.  At that point I shoved him ahead to try to make the pass to the outside, but he defended it well.”

Behind Logano and Busch, Chase Elliott was fourth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fifth.  Chris Buescher was sixth, Alex Bowman seventh, with Jimmie Johnson, polesitter William Byron and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top 10.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway for next Sunday’s Pocono 400. Love coverage will be on FS1 starting at 2:00 p.m. ET.  Truex is the defending race winner.

 

The win is his third at Charlotte and his second in NASCAR’s longest race.

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Concord, North Carolina

Sunday, May 26, 2019

               1. (14)  Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 400.

               2. (7)  Joey Logano, Ford, 400.

               3. (3)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 400.

               4. (12)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 400.

               5. (9)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 400.

               6. (22)  Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 400.

               7. (13)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 400.

               8. (15)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 400.

               9. (1)  William Byron, Chevrolet, 400.

               10. (5)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 400.

               11. (2)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 400.

               12. (30)  Corey LaJoie, Ford, 400.

               13. (19)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 400.

               14. (17)  Paul Menard, Ford, 400.

               15. (31)  David Ragan, Ford, 400.

               16. (18)  Ryan Newman, Ford, 400.

               17. (20)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 400.

               18. (6)  Daniel Suarez, Ford, 399.

               19. (21)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 398.

               20. (26)  Matt Tifft #, Ford, 398.

               21. (10)  Daniel Hemric #, Chevrolet, 398.

               22. (23)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 398.

               23. (28)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 397.

               24. (8)  Clint Bowyer, Ford, 397.

               25. (29)  Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 396.

               26. (34)  Parker Kligerman(i), Toyota, 396.

               27. (11)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 396.

               28. (39)  Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 396.

               29. (36)  BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 395.

               30. (37)  Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 389.

               31. (24)  Ryan Preece #, Chevrolet, Suspension, 343.

               32. (40)  Joey Gase(i), Toyota, 334.

               33. (25)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, Accident, 315.

               34. (4)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, Accident, 315.

               35. (33)  Bayley Currey(i), Ford, Accident, 245.

               36. (35)  Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, Suspension, 134.

               37. (32)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, Oil Cooler, 108.

               38. (38)  Cody Ware(i), Ford, Rear Gear, 51.

               39. (27)  Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, Accident, 47.

               40. (16)  Erik Jones, Toyota, Accident, 22.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  124.074 mph.

Time of Race:  4 Hrs, 50 Mins, 9 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.330 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  16 for 80 laps.

Lead Changes:  30 among 11 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   W. Byron 1-24;K. Busch 25-49;W. Byron 50;K. Harvick 51-54;K. Busch 55-58;K. Harvick 59-62;M. Truex Jr 63-73;K. Harvick 74;D. Hemric # 75-81;B. Keselowski 82-90;K. Harvick 91-95;B. Keselowski 96-106;D. Hamlin 107-127;C. Elliott 128-130;M. Truex Jr 131;R. Blaney 132-133;B. Keselowski 134-162;W. Byron 163-167;B. Keselowski 168-189;A. Bowman 190-193;W. Byron 194;A. Bowman 195-198;B. Keselowski 199-203;K. Busch 204-252;M. Truex Jr 253-258;K. Busch 259;M. Truex Jr 260-303;C. Elliott 304-343;M. Truex Jr 344-392;D. Ragan 393-395;M. Truex Jr 396-400.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Martin Truex Jr 6 times for 116 laps; Kyle Busch 4 times for 79 laps; Brad Keselowski 5 times for 76 laps; Chase Elliott 2 times for 43 laps; William Byron 4 times for 31 laps; Denny Hamlin 1 time for 21 laps; Kevin Harvick 4 times for 14 laps; Alex Bowman 2 times for 8 laps; Daniel Hemric # 1 time for 7 laps; David Ragan 1 time for 3 laps; Ryan Blaney 1 time for 2 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 11,12,18,19,2,22,24,4,48,9

Stage #3 Top Ten: 1,11,12,17,18,19,22,42,88,9

Stage #2 Top Ten: 1,12,18,2,22,24,4,42,88,9

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