Truex Jr. in control in repeat win at Kentucky

Ruben Hill
July 17, 2018

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, races JJ Yeley, driver of the #23 Steakhouse Elite Toyota, during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway on July 13, 2018 in Sparta, Kentucky.

"I feel like we're getting closer, getting more dialed in to what we're doing, to what the vehicle wants with the new rules and things. And that's how I felt like we were previous year". Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch have combined for five wins and were favored here last July, but Martin Truex Jr. got the victory on the way to the series championship.

Ryan Blaney was second and Keselowski was third, both in Fords, followed by Kyle Busch (Toyota) and Kevin Harvick (Ford).

With 44 to go, Truex went under Busch and was in the lead again. And when it comes to the medium-sized circuits, no one has been better over the previous year and a half than Martin Truex Jr.

Finishing second at the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval was Ryan Blaney of Team Penske.

His Denver-based team, meanwhile, looks to build on encouraging efforts across all tracks.

"It's just hard to pass", Harvick said of Kentucky.

"We ran well here a year ago finishing sixth and you can look back on your notes and say, 'OK, this is what we did to get to this point, ' or that point and that makes things quite a bit easier from a driver's standpoint", Jones said Friday. "We'll see where the future takes us".

Truex's No. 78 Toyota Camry appeared even more dominant than it was last July as he led 174 of 267 laps and swept the first two stages after starting on the pole. He'll try to repeat on Watkins Glen's road course a couple of weeks later. We've said that before, but its a statement that gets more and more certain with each passing week. He's got the fourth-most playoff points.

Kentucky will stand out for Truex, and not just because his auto rolled away from him during a postrace interview.

"Is it good for the sport? I don't know. I really don't care", Truex said. "My job is to go win races". That's what I'm here to do. The sophistication behind setting these cars up, the simulation, our engineers, the job Cole does and all those things pulled together is just _ it's insane how good it's been working. "So first pit stall will be good for here, and hopefully we can back up what we did previous year".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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