Race Weekend Central

Martin Truex, Jr. Soars to Chase-Opening Victory at Chicagoland Speedway

Early on in Sunday’s Chase-opening race at Chicagoland Speedway Martin Truex, Jr., was trapped a lap down after suffering a flat tire.

In the waning moments, it was a flat tire from one of his competitors that ultimately gave Truex the victory.

Truex’s Furniture Row Racing team won the race off of pit road with four tires after a caution for Michael McDowell and the New Jersey native maneuvered his way around Ryan Blaney on the final lap of NASCAR Overtime to claim the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, his third victory of 2016.

After working his way through the field, Truex found himself stuck just over a second behind rookie Chase Elliott in the waning moments of the 400-mile event, but the Toyota driver’s pit crew was able to best Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports group on pit road to put the veteran in the best position entering the final restart.

Joey Logano took advantage of the restart to soar to a runner-up finish, with Elliott, Blaney and Brad Keselowski completing the top 5. Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Alex Bowman rounded out the top 10.

After leading a season-best 118 laps, Jimmie Johnson was relegated to a 12th-place finish after getting caught speeding on the final round of pit stops, one spot behind Jamie McMurray in 11th. Chasers Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart filled positions 13-16.

Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick were each trapped a lap down in the closing segments, with Larson suffering a late flat tire and Harvick failing to get back on the lead lap after getting trapped a lap down with an untimely caution while his No. 4 Chevrolet was on pit road. Larson ultimately finished 18th, with Harvick following in 20th.

Finishing last among the Chase grid was Chris Buescher, who struggled throughout the day before finishing two laps down in 28th.

Sunday’s race saw just four cautions –two each for debris and accidents– leading to multiple long caution-free stints and green-flag pit stops. The last of the four ended up making a world of difference, and guaranteeing Truex into the second round of the Chase.

The Sprint Cup Series will return to action on

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via