Truex fi­nally wins at Kansas Speed­way af­ter late restart

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY DAVE SKRETTA THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Martin Truex Jr. fi­nally ended his string of rot­ten luck at Kansas Speed­way, pulling away from Ryan Blaney and Kevin Har­vick on a late restart Satur­day night to win the NASCAR Cup Se­ries race.

Truex dom­i­nated the same event a year ago be­fore a fluke prob­lem dur­ing a tire change forced him to make an un­sched­uled pit stop and cost him the race. He’s had plenty of other close calls at Kansas, al­ways lead­ing laps but never find­ing his way to vic­tory lane.

Brad Ke­selowski made a pass on the fi­nal lap to take sec­ond, fol­lowed by Har­vick and Blaney. Kyle Busch fin­ished fifth af­ter win­ning the Truck Se­ries race Fri­day night.

The race was halted with 67 laps to go when a bro­ken brake ro­tor turned Joey Logano’s car into Danica Pa­trick, send­ing her hard into the fence in the first cor­ner. Aric Almirola had nowhere to go and slammed into Logano, the force of the im­pact lift­ing his car into the air.

Logano and Pa­trick were treated and re­leased from the in­field care cen­tre, while Almirola was air­lifted to the Univer­sity of Kansas Med­i­cal Cen­ter. He was con­scious and alert.

The race tied a track record with 15 cau­tions, and the last of them for a spin in­volv­ing Jim­mie John­son bunched up the field for a restart with two laps to go. Truex dove to the bot­tom and roared away from the rest from the rest of the field, en­sur­ing there would be no more mis­for­tune. It was Truex’s ninth ca­reer win and sec­ond this sea­son. He also won at Las Ve­gas.

The only race at the end was for sec­ond place. Ke­selowski, Har­vick and Blaney went three-wide with Ke­selowski on the high side, and he made the move stick to fin­ish sec­ond. BUSCH KEEPS ON ROLLING

Af­ter sweep­ing both in­ter­me­di­ate stages and win­ning the Truck Se­ries race Fri­day night, Busch kept his roll go­ing by sweep­ing to the front on a restart and win­ning the first stage.

It was the first stage win for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver since the Day­tona 500.

John­son, Dale Earn­hardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne were forced to start near the back be­cause of their qual­i­fy­ing de­ba­cle. But all of them quickly sliced through the field, de­spite an in­tense glare in the third and fourth cor­ners caused by the set­ting sun.

The big­gest drama came when Chase El­liott hit Michael McDow­ell try­ing to exit his pit, caus­ing dam­age to the right from of the No. 24 car. El­liott quickly fell off the lead lap. BLANEY BACK ON TOP Pole-sit­ter laney won his third stage of the year, lead­ing the field across the line in his No. 21 Ford mo­ments af­ter Ryan New­man had an oil pump prob­lem that forced him out.

New­man was run­ning in the top 10 be­fore his en­gine quit.

John­son had all kinds of trou­ble dur­ing the stage. He was pe­nal­ized for driv­ing through too many pit boxes en­ter­ing his own, then made con­tact with Kurt Busch that caused his tire to go down.

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