Fun Fact: Martin Truex Jr. is the only driver in NASCAR history to win a stage at Kentucky Speedway. After sweeping both stages and leading 152 laps a year ago in route to victory, MTJ one-upped his performance from 2017 starting from the pole securing both stage wins and all the playoff points winning the Quaker State 400 with 174 laps led and his fourth win of the campaign.
“What a hell of a night this was,” Truex said. “We try to do this every single week but that just shows you how hard it is. We made it look easy last year, but it certainly wasn’t. Hats off to my guys for sticking with me all year. We’ve really been working hard on these race cars trying to figure them out.”
Outside of a few strategy plays early on by the No. 41 of Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski taking two-tire stops or some cars staying out, Truex was almost unchallenged through the duration of the race as he would quickly re-take the lead over those making strategy plays.
Ryan Blaney had a great car and would’ve challenged for the win if the 78 wasn’t so dominant all night. Blaney finished second almost two-seconds back with teammate Brad Keselowski finishing third fighting back from an early speeding penalty. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five as the two other members of the “Big Three” couldn’t get the balance or the car just right to threaten the 78. Last week’s winner, Erik Jones, scored a top ten coming away 7th and Kyle Larson fought back from missing driver intros and starting in the rear as well as a track-bar issue to finish 9th.
The series heads to New England next weekend for a three-race slate at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that culminates with the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. Truex & Busch are the favorites entering Sunday on the flat one-mile track.