Martin Truex Jr. Wins At Pocono Raceway To Earn Second Victory Of The 2018 Season


By: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com

LONG POND, Pa. – Martin Truex Jr. captured his second victory of the season on Sunday in the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Truex Jr. led twice for 31 laps throughout the afternoon in his Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota. A crash on a late restart that sent Erik Jones hard into the inside wall on the frontstretch, set the field up for a seven-lap dash to the finish. Truex Jr. held off Kyle Larson on the final restart as he went on to win his second race at the Tricky Triangle.

“Yes, you’re always concerned on restarts at Pocono,” Truex said about the final restart with seven laps to go. “So much can happen on those. We were luckily able to get a good one. I just can’t say enough about everyone on this team. Cole (Pearn, crew chief) and all of the guys. We did a good job last night. It’s been a really good weekend overall. I feel like we’re getting back to where we were last year.”

Larson was able to hold on for a second-place finish in his Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet. The runner-up finish marks Larson’s fourth consecutive top-10 finish this season. On the final restart, Larson had an opportunity to overtake Truex for the lead, but he just wasn’t fast enough to pull off the move as the field headed into Turn 1. As Truex pulled away, Larson had to focus on defending second-place. 

“Yeah, I actually liked that the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) tried to pull down and block me a little bit because it messed his angle up to the corner,” Larson said about the final restart of the afternoon when he restart alongside of Truex. “I knew he would have to slow down a little more on entry and I was hoping I could get close enough to him to get him loose. Which I did, but I also got kind of loose behind him. So I just had to tuck back in line on exit and then had to try and fight off the 18 (Kyle Busch) and the 4 (Kevin Harvick) behind me. I was just trying to stay lower than them on exit to get them tight. I am happy we finished second because we were probably a sixth or seventh place car today and to finish better than where you run is always a good thing. I am happy about that.”

Kyle Busch finished third, while Kevin Harvick, who led a race high of 89 laps, finished fourth. Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 was Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott.

There were six cautions for 23 laps during the Pocono 400. Only two cautions were for multicar accidents.

On lap 148, the fifth caution of the afternoon came out, when contact with Alex Bowman sent Denny Hamlin hard into the inside wall as they exited Turn 1. Hamlin got loose in Turn 1 and slid up into Bowman, who then slapped the outside wall.

The second multicar accident of the race came out on lap 152 after Joey Logano got into the back of Erik Jones on a restart. After Logano made contact with the rear of the Joe Gibbs Raicng No. 20 DeWalt Toyota, Jones then bounced off the side of Ryan Newman’s car and slammed the inside wall on the frontstretch. The accident was the caution that set the field up for the final restart of the race.

Following the Pocono 400, Kyle Busch leads the standings by 87 points over Harvick.

Up next on the schedule for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 10. The race will broadcast live on FOX and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2 p.m. ET.

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