NASCAR: Martin Truex Jr is first to secure a place in the Round of 8
The #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry was the race-winning car for the sixth time this year. Despite leading in the Playoffs points standings, Martin Truex Jr. is running for new victories and he scored his 13th NASCAR Cup Series win in a career at Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The race in Concord, North Carolina, was the first race of the Round of 12. The fastest qualifier was Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex was far back in the 17th place. Step by step, stage by stage, he progressed during the race, survived two late restarts, the last in overtime, to take his second victory at Charlotte, sixth win whis season and 13th in a career. Truex took the lead for the first time on lap 234 and led in total for 91 (of 337 laps).
In the overtime, Truex beat Chase Elliott, who finished second for the second time in a row and third time in the last four races. It’s his sixth P2 in a career, he is still looking for his first Cup Series victory. Kevin Harvick lead the race-high 149 laps and finished third. Pole-sitter Denny Hamlin was fourth, ahead of Jamie McMurray.
This win secures Truex a place in the next Playoffs phase, the Round of 8, but he also has a lead in the Playoffs standings, 34 points over second-placed Kyle Larson, who finished 10th at Charlotte.
The next race is the Alabama 50 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 15 and then Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 22.