NASCAR Cup Series: First win for Martin Truex Jr at Watkins Glen
Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing #78 Toyota) wins the I Love New York 355 at The Glen, scoring his fourth win of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and eleventh Cup Series win in a career. It’s his first win at the Watkins Glen International, the iconic race track where he spent a childhood together with a father race car driver.
Truex won the race with clever fuel saving strategy, leading for 24 of 90 laps. In the closing laps, he let Brad Keselowski to pass him on lap 77 and Ryan Blaney on lap 83, knowing that they would have to stop for a splash of fuel. The strategy played out as expected, with Keselowski entering pit road on lap 87 and Blaney following a lap later.
That left Truex to hold off from Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing) on the final lap. Kenseth’s teammate Daniel Suarez finished third to score a career-best result. Suarez also captured Stage 2 win, what was his first stage win this season. One more JGR Toyota was in the Top 5 as Denny Hamlin finished fourth, ahead of Clint Bowyer (Stewart-Haas Racing).
Polesitter Kyle Busch led all 20 laps during the Stage 1. After that, he dropped in the order due to a problem with a left front wheel. He worked his way back into the top 10, but after restarting ninth on Lap 45, he and Brad Keselowski collided and went off the track.
Four more races are scheduled in the regular season before the Cup Championship Playoffs. The next race is the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Raceway.
Photos: Getty Images/nascar.com,