Truex Wins NASCAR Race At Pocono

Ganassi's Larson Finishes Second

Scott Stiller
June 04, 2018 - 10:46 pm
Martin Truex Jr. Celebrates NASCAR Win At Pocono

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Martin Truex Jr. held off Kyle Larson to win Sunday's Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA.  Truex blocked Larson's DC Solar Chevrolet on a restart with 7-laps remaining to get out front and took advantage of the clean air for a 2.496-second victory.  The win was Truex's second of the season, second at Pocono and 17th of his career.

Truex, Larson, Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott and Stewart Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick elected not to pit for new tires when NASCAR threw a caution flag for debris on lap 139.  Truex said track position was key.

"We decided to stay out there when some guys pitted," Truex said.  "We were good on scuffs yesterday in practice, and that kind of led to that decision, and Cole (Pearn, Crew Chief) said stay out, and I was like, I think this is a good idea.  So luckily it worked out for us."

Larson said staying out was his only option.

"I ran probably sixth or seventh all day long and finished second," Larson said.  "I was happy about that because I felt like obviously we were at a little bit of a disadvantage on tires there, but the track position overcame that."

Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch, who finished third, elected to pit for tires because he didn't want history to repeat itself.

"We lost this race last year on not pitting in that situation and getting beat by tires, and so we pitted this year for tires and got beat by those that didn't pit," said Busch.  "Just really a crazy situation there with how all that kind of transpired and went down, but we fought hard for the finish and tried to get the most out of what we could there and just couldn't pass."

Harvick, who led the most laps of the race, felt a caution prior to the final caution cost him the race.

"We had a good car all day, just came down to really losing control of the race on the last pit stop," said Harvick.  "Really not pitting or pitting didn't really seem to matter.  We lost control to the 18 and wound up losing a couple more spots on the restart starting on the inside, and that was the end of the day.  Car was fast and everybody did a great job, it just didn't work out."

Team Penske's Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney finished fifth and sixth respectively. Harvick's SHR teammate Aric Almirola finished seventh followed by Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson. Penske's Joey Logano was ninth and Elliott rounded out the top 10.

There were 11-lead changes among 7-drivers and 6-cautions for 23-laps.

Busch maintains the championship points standings followed by Harvick, Logano, Truex and Keselowski.

The series moved on the Michigan International Raceway for next Sunday's Fire Keepers Casino 400.

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