Truex finally wins at Kansas Speedway after late restart

Ross Houston
May 14, 2017

But there is still clearly the risk of serious injury, as evidenced by Kyle Busch's broken leg in 2015 and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s concussion last season.

Truex, thwarted on past days when he had cars capable of winning at the 1.5-mile track that the Denver-based team considers its home speedway, wasn't denied as he held off the field on two late restarts with Ryan Blaney providing the toughest competition.

Last year: William Byron won his first career race - the first of seven he took in 2016.

"You just got to time it right", Truex said of continually getting the jump on restarts. Tonight we did everything right.

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His Wood Brothers Racing Ford was particularly strong on short runs, an advantage on a night that featured 15 cautions, which tied the track record.

"That kid's good", Truex said.

The race was halted with 67 laps to go when a broken brake rotor turned Joey Logano's vehicle into Danica Patrick, sending her hard into the fence in the first corner.

When it comes to escaping accidents unharmed. There was no immediate word on Almirola's injuries.

"Everything was fine, and then it just took a hard right", Logano said. However, the story from this race will be a devastating wreck in the 200th lap that resulted in one driver being airlifted out.

"These races are so hard to win", said Truex, who had a fluke tire change problem rob him of the win after leading 172 laps previous year. "Once it got dark out, we just kind of lost it". Of course we wanted to win, but at the same time you look at the gains we made all weekend and really being fast all weekend.

Truex met those expectations.

Corey LaJoie slammed into the Turn 4 wall to prompt Caution 7 on Lap 136. The driver of the No. 21 led 83 laps and won the second stage but when the checkered flag dropped, he had to settle for fourth. The caution flew another two times, and he executed ideal restarts each time. Three times in the past, Truex had led the most laps in a Kansas race-without winning.

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But more than making the playoffs, he got a win at a place where he never forgot the near-misses.

"I told him, 'I'm not sure if it was you, but I'm pretty sure it was you.' Then he said it was a failure of some sort, which didn't make me feel better in that moment", Patrick said. "I think that it says a lot about this team to go out and lead some laps and go have a shot and win races".

"[I'm] proud to get these guys back in Victory Lane". Both Team Penske drivers, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, and Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola were without their regular crew chiefs for the Kansas Speedway race as they were serving suspensions for rear-end suspension issues discovered during post-race inspections at various race tracks.

They probably, like Truex, are psyched for not just what occurred Saturday, but for what's to come. He's also shown Top 10 speed at the 1.5-mile tracks all year, and he led a race-high 148 laps at Texas a few weeks ago. It's just part of the life we live and the game we play. That leaves just 16 races until the cutoff for the playoffs and we have yet to see a Joe Gibbs Racing auto and some other notable drivers without a win. However, we don't see that as any reason to overlook him this week.

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