Another Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race, and it was the same old story. Martin Truex Jr. dominates!
Truex far outclassed the field, winning both stages and the race, scoring a perfect 60 points for the second time this season. The first stage was incident-free with the only yellow flag a competition caution due to heavy rains that postponed the race Friday.
Several wrecks occurred during stage two, including a collision between Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Jimmy Johnson. This incident ended the race for Keselowski and Johnson while Bowyer continued to race.
Points leader Kyle Larson had trouble by not being able to qualify, relegating him to the back of the field at the start of the race. Despite that, Larson charged to the front and finished a strong second. As a result, Larson’s point lead was cut to just one marker through 19 races.
As the laps wound down in the final stage, Truex was able to put all but a handful of cars a lap or more down, building a lead of 15 seconds with a handful of laps remaining, a half-lap worth of distance. Truex, though, had a scare at the end of the race, when Kurt Busch lost the engine on his car with two laps to go, bringing out the caution and sending the race into overtime. Every car except the Truex pitted for tires, leaving him admittedly worried, but he still blew the field away on the restart, leaving Larson, Elliott and Kyle Busch to duke it out for second. Matt Kenseth and Daniel Suarez got together coming to the white flag, bringing the yellow out and ending the race.
After wrecking on lap 88, Keselowski spoke the truth that I think a lot of drivers have wanted to say for a while now, but haven’t in fear of being penalized by NASCAR. Here’s what the 2012 series champion said about the Gen 6 car that wasn’t in the interview he gave to NBCSN, as quoted by Ford PR:
“It is a poorly designed racecar and it makes racing on tracks like this very difficult to put on the show we want to put on for our fans. You do what you can to gauge and claw on the restarts and get everything you can get. You have to put yourself in bad situations to do that and that is where we were. If you don’t make those moves on the restarts, then you run in the back. Or you have a bad day… It is time for the sport to design a new car that is worthy of where this sport deserves to be and the show it deserves to put on for its fans.”
Comments such as Keselowski’s often draw big fines from NASCAR. Denny Hamlin was fined when he made derogatory comments when the Gen 6 car came out several years ago. We’ll have to see what fines, if any, are levied against Keselowski.