Truex Jr. has an easy win at the tricky Pocono Raceway

The tricky and triangular Pocono Raceway that hosted the best NASCAR drivers was easily conquered by Martin Truex Jr. who lead the race for 97 laps. Pole sitter Kurt Busch finished the 160-lap long race at fifth. The engines were fired at 1pm ET, while the green flag went up at 1:21pm.

Carl Edwards went to the first after a good start, while Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. battled for second. Kurt Busch dropped to fourth. On lap 5, Truex Jr. overtook Gordon and went to second, closing down on Carl Edwards who completed his fifth lap in the lead.

Kevin Harvick jumped to third by overtaking Jeff Gordon on lap 9. On lap 15, Truex Jr. overtook Edwards who lost the second place to Kevin Harvick as well. Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch went to an unscheduled pit stop on lap 21 and 23, while Dale Jr. continued climbing up the grid. Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano decided to go to the pit early as well. Dale Jr. went to the pits on lap 25 and soon after, many other drivers decided to head to the pit, but none of the top drivers went to the pit lane. Logano was penalized for speeding, which was his second hurdle of the weekend.

Edwards went to the lead when Truex decided to pit on lap 29, but Kasey Kahne was in the lead when Edwards entered the pit road. Paul Menard suffered a blown tire on lap 32, but the race remained green. Kevin Harvick went to the lead on the same lap after Kasey Kahne pitted late. On lap 49, the race was cautioned when Paul Menard’s flat tyre damaged the front splitter. The drivers used the caution period to visit their pits and Martin Truex Jr. reclaimed his lead. The race restarted on lap 55 with Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman battling to take over the lead from Truex Jr, while Carl Edwards dropped to sixth. On lap 59, Harvick overtook Kahne and went to the second place.

The second caution of the race flew on lap 68 when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lost control while trying to reclaim his place from Casey Mears and hit the outside wall. Harvick decided not to pit, which pushed him to the lead in front of Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards. The race went green on lap 74 and Dale Jr. had a great restart which earned him the second position.

Halfway into the race, Harvick was leading over Dale Jr, Johnson and Matt Kenseth. In the meantime, Aric Almirola’s car suffered problems that forced him to the pits. A cut tyre on Jimmie Johnson’s car forced him to the pits as well, and he had to give up on his third position. Johnson caused a yellow flag, which brought many cars to the pits and Austin Dillon went to the lead.

The race restarted with 68 laps to go with Jeff Gordon in the lead, in front of Kyle Larson and Truex Jr. However, on lap 94, Brett Moffitt got Alex Bowman sideways which caused a yellow flag again. When the race restarted, Truex Jr. was in the leading position and was followed by Keselowski and Dale Jr. With 56 laps to go, Kevin Harvick got up to the second place. With 40 laps to go, Truex Jr. and Harvick expanded their gap over Dale Jr. on third and on the same lap, Sam Hornish Jr. hit the outside wall causing the fifth yellow.

The caution period opened the pit road and Truex Jr. remained in the lead after the stop with Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick behind him. With 32 laps to go, Brad Keselowski ran into Brett Moffitt’s car which caused a yellow flag and dropped Keselowski. With 27 laps to go, the race restarted and Harvick briefly jumped to the lead but Truex Jr. reclaimed the lead. Joey Logano jumped to third after hiding from the cameras from the beginning of the race. On lap 32, Danica Patrick brushed the wall, causing a caution flag when she punctured her tire. With 21 laps to go, the race restarted with Truex Jr. in the lead and Joey Logano behind him on second.

With 20 to go, Ryan Newman was rear ended by AJ Allmendinger collided in the battle for seventh, causing a yellow flag. With 16 to go, the race restarted. Jimmie Johnson had a good restart and passed Logano to get to second, but Harvick overtook both of them to claim the second place. With 7 laps to go, Danica Patrick lost control, but managed to regain it in the pit lane, saving the grid from the caution.

After leading for 97 laps, Martin Truex Jr. won the race in front of Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch in top five. Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin were in top ten. It’s safe to say that Truex Jr’s win was a well deserved one.