Martin Truex Jr. Pulls Off Monster Pass To Win Second Coca-Cola 600by Hunter Thomas May 27, 2019 1 comment
CONCORD, N.C. – On a restart with five laps to go, Martin Truex Jr. pulled off an incredible four-wide pass to race his way from third to win his second career Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night.
Brad Keselowski spun to bring out the final caution of the night on lap 392, and it set the field up for a five laps dash to the end. Ryan Newman and David Ragan brought the field down for the final green flag, but once onto the backstretch, Truex made a four-wide move for the race lead. Truex solidified the top spot exiting Turn 4 and never looked back. He led a race high of 116 laps throughout the 60th running of the Coca-Cola 600.
“I was thinking I was going wherever there was a hole because I wasn’t lifting,” Truex said about the final restart of the night. “That’s kind of the way it works there. It seemed like the second half of the race for sure the bottom was really where you wanted to be. I had a hole in the bottom to get into (Turn) 3 and I knew that was my only shot. Just barely cleared the 22 (Joey Logano) off (Turn) 4 sideways. He was on my bumper and had me sideways and I hung onto it and luckily finished it from there.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Truex bounced off the outside wall exiting Turn 4 while leading the race to bring out the caution on lap 75. The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker/USO Toyota Camry had a right front tire go down. His teammates struggled with flat tires throughout the night as well.
“I blew that right-front tire earlier and hit the fence off (Turn) 4,” Truex said. “I thought man, that’s not good. I know this car is pretty banged up. We just fought back from it. We kept working on the car and kept adjusting on the car.”
Joey Logano was right on the back bumper of Truex’s car with four laps to go, but he wasn’t fast enough to make a move in the final laps. Logano hung on to finish second, capturing his seventh top-five finish of the season.
“Well, I needed him to go slower (laughing), but that’s not his job,” Logano said about Truex. “We had a rough start to this thing. The guys did a good job fixing it up to where we were competitive at the end and had a shot to win, so that’s all you can ask for.”
Kyle Busch finished third, his seventh top-five finish of the season. With 90 laps to go, Busch had an intense moment, when his older brother Kurt made contact with him and spun in Turn 4 and along the frontstretch.
Chase Elliott finished fourth, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rebounded from a lap 87 spin to finish fifth. Chris Buescher, Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson, William Byron and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-10.
There were 16 cautions for 80 laps during the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night.
The largest crash was a five-car pile up along the backstretch on lap 317. While exiting Turn 2, Kyle Larson slid up the track and into Clint Bowyer. With nowhere to go, Austin Dillon wasn’t able to avoid Larson’s spinning car as it slid towards the inside wall on the backstretch. Both drivers made hard contact with the wall. Ty Dillon and Ryan Preece were also involved in the accident.
Kyle Busch leads Logano by 0 points in the standings following the Coca-Cola 600.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will visit Pocono Raceway on Sunday, June 2 for the Pocono 400. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com