Martin Truex Jr.: Not To Be Forgotten

NASCAR’s young drivers struggle to find victory lane

NASCAR’s young drivers struggle to find victory lane

One problem: to win, a driver needs to defeat Martin Truex Jr. The Furniture Row team may not appear as imposing as they did in 2017, they're still a force to reckon with. He cited how at this time last year he only had two wins (he went on to win eight times in 2017), while this year he came into Pocono with just one win.

"It means a lot to win here in Pocono in the Xfinity Series and check another box in having a win on all active tracks on the Xfinity schedule".

However, Busch's auto was too high in the left front and failed post-race inspection height measurements.

"It's always fun to win", Truex said.

Today could finally be the day Harvick breaks through at Pocono. He's starting second, so if he can get out in front early, it might be a long day for everyone else. "In order to win here you have to have a really fast vehicle and everything has to go right". "Cole (Pearn, his crew chief) made a good call to stay out and once I got in clean air, this thing was a rocket ship". They have combined for nine wins - five by Harvick. And unlike past year, when it seemed like everything that could go right for the No. 78 team did, nagging issues such as lost spots on pit road and blown tires have happened, but the team has not lost its way as Sunday proved. We had a flat tire and had to pit under green - which put us behind, as well. "I just tucked in behind him so we didn't waste too much time and kind of did like a long shift and gave up a little bit of time". Previous year I felt like things just - it was nearly like we couldn't do anything wrong.

"I'm not sure it is the right fit, at least for this race track", Elliott said.

After starting a cycle of green-flag pit stops on Lap 16, Blaney couldn't contend with the "speed" cars of race victor Martin Truex Jr. and third- and fourth-place finishers Kyle Busch and Harvick. For top 10s, Busch and Harvick have 11, while Martin Truex Jr. has nine. They rank first through third in playoff points gathered thus far and all three were part of last year's Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I knew I would need some good restarts because once I felt like if one or two of those guys pass me, the rest of them would probably eat me up".

There was no suspense as he pulled away from Kyle Larson for a margin of victory of 2.49 seconds, which is not exactly a photo finish. The question would be if that's good enough for this salary, as you really want him to be leading laps and winning.

Three laps later, Harvick ran down Blaney to take the lead for the first time in the race. I thought we were about a fourth- or fifth-place auto, and we were running fifth there when the caution came out (for debris on Lap 139). Harvick had another fast vehicle on Sunday, but it wasn't enough to win him the race. "The 78 and us, we were able to stay up front and hold off those guys with fresher tires".

Other Notables: #6 Matt Kenseth P13, #24 William Byron P18, #41 Kurt Busch P19, #14 Clint Bowyer P20, #88 Alex Bowman P27, #20 Erik Jones P29, #11 Denny Hamlin P35, #95 Kasey Kahne P36, #43 Darrell Wallace Jr P38.

"He has won races there", Elliott said of Gustafson before last year's MI race. "In this sport, as tough as it is and as competitive as it is, that's really what you look for".

"You're always anxious about something insane or unpredictable situations taking place", he said. It really isn't surprising at all if you consider the butt whippin' he gave the field past year.

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