Hold On For Second


photo credit: Ron Olds

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (May 12, 2018) – Martin Truex Jr. nearly pulled off an incredible comeback but fell short of scoring his third-straight victory at Kansas Speedway.

The Furniture Row Racing driver, who took the lead on Lap 253 of 267, got passed with two to go by Kevin Harvick, who went on to beat Truex to the checkered flag by 0.390 seconds.

The runner-up finish was Truex’s seventh top five in the first 12 races and he moved up one spot in the driver standings to eighth.

To even be in position for the win was a remarkable accomplishment for the reigning NASCAR Cup champion. His No. 78 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops Toyota struggled with handling issues for the majority of the race, which was evident by his finishes of 11th in the first stage and 10th in the second.

But with a number of adjustments, the No. 78 came to life late in the race at the 1.5-mile oval.

Following the last caution (Lap 254) and holding down first place, Truex did not pit for fresh rubber. He fired off a great restart to maintain the lead but was unable to hold off Harvick in the closing laps.

“I thought we were going to be alright there,” Truex said. “Like three or four to go, my car just got real tight and chattered the right front off of turn four, and I was like, ‘Oh boy, that’s not good.’ We had been so tight all night and I didn’t know where to go once he was getting there. If I go to the top, he’s just going to catch me on the bottom. I might as well run where I feel I can run the fastest, and I did and it just wasn’t enough. It’s been a fun night, we definitely overachieved, so that’s always good.

“Good strategy calls by Cole (Pearn, crew chief) and overall, just a hell of an effort by everybody on our team. We had to fight hard. We struggled a bit all weekend and we were awful at the start of the race. We’re missing something right now, just can’t get the thing turned, it felt tight all night long. The car was better for sure the last three or four runs of the race. We’ll get to work on that. Thanks to everybody back in Denver and everybody at TRD (Toyota Racing Development), Bass Pro, 5-hour ENERGY, Auto Owners Insurance and my friends from Garmin are here tonight, hope they had a good time, wish I could have got to victory lane for them.” (DMF/FRRpr 5.13.18)

NASCAR Unoffical Results
Kansas Speedway
KC Mastepiece 400

1 – Kevin Harvick
2 – Martin Truex Jr.
3 – Joey Logano
4 – Kyle Larson
5 – Denny Hamlin
6 – Paul Menard
7 – Erik Jones
8 – Kurt Busch
9 – Aric Almirola
10 – Kyle Busch
11 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
12 – Chase Elliott
13 – David Ragan
14 – Brad Keselowski
15 – Clint Bowyer
16 – AJ Allmendinger
17 – Austin Dillon
18 – Alex Bowman
19 – Jimmie Johnson
20 – Michael McDowell
21 – Kasey Kahne
22 – Matt DiBenedetto
23 – Darrell Wallace Jr.
24 – Corey Lajoie
25 – Landon Cassill
26 – Ross Chastain
27 – Reed Sorenson
28 – Daniel Suarez
29 – Gray Gaulding
30 – Ryan Newman
31 – Jamie McMurray
32 – Timmy Hill
33 – William Byron
34 – Chris Buescher
35 – BJ McLeod
36 – Matt Kenseth
37 – Ryan Blaney
38 – Ty Dillon