Truex wins first stage at Kentucky Speedway

Paola Ditto
Luglio 18, 2018

Just four NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won the seven 400-mile events at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.

At the same time, Erik Jones' victory at Daytona offers hope that a new face might emerge if everything falls right.

Whether it's enough to overcome the Kentucky dominance of Busch and Keselowski remains to be seen. The Chip Ganassi Racing star looks poised to challenge for the win in Saturday night's Quaker State 400. He won most recently in 2015 on the way to the Cup title. "Hats off to my guys for stickin' with me all year". He has all the momentum in the world, having finished in the top five seven times in his last eight races. "I'm not a numerology person, but I appreciate those that are".

Despite winning a series record seven times on mile-and-a-half tracks a year ago in his title campaign, this is Truex's first this season. He has won three times already this season and is just 120 points behind Busch in third place. "We've been strong here the last couple of years and hopefully we can figure out how to race up front again all night tomorrow night and have a shot at winning at the end". And he's also the only driver who's ever won a stage at the track. Not coincidentally, Truex is also looking for his fourth race win. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Paul Menard rounded out the top five. The four-year Cup veteran has finished as high as third in two starts at Kentucky. Busch wouldn't be shocked if Ryan Blaney, 11th in points and hungry for his first win this season, breaks through. "They're a lot different, the two, and it's pretty neat that Brad and Kyle have been able to win on both configurations pretty easily. I had to pump the brakes ... but nothing shook or anything", Bowman said over his team radio.

Three-time Kentucky victor Brad Keselowski, who started fourth, was penalized for speeding on pit road. Jones, who earned his first career Cup win last week at Daytona, will start second after turning a lap of 188.739 miles per hour in the No. 20 Toyota. Harvick leads the way at 5-2 followed by Truex at 3-1, Kyle Busch at 13-4 and Kyle Larson at 19-4.

The reigning series champion earned his first Kentucky pole in the No. 78 Camry and leads an all-Toyota front row.

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