Monday, May 30, 2016

Truex Captures Long-Awaited Win at Charlotte

Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs  
by Kristen Schneider


After heartbreaking near-wins at three tracks this season, Martin Truex Jr. claimed the victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway in dominating fashion.

The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota paced the field for a record-setting 392 laps, the most at Charlotte since Jim Paschal in 1967. He also led 588 miles, the most in NASCAR history.

Shattering those records isn’t a surprise to Truex. Since FRR aligned with Joe Gibbs Racing, they have consistently battled within the top 10. Truex knew he and his team could capture that victory – and that feeling never wavered.

“I had confidence. I had faith. I had confidence in my team. I’ve got a lot of great people behind me,” he said. “Sherry [Pollex, Truex’s girlfriend] – she gives me a lot of inspiration, and we just keep fighting. We never give up. We never quit. We always just keep digging. And just proud of my guys for sticking behind me – the pit crew has come a long way. They did a great job tonight.”

Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
Truex came close to victory at Daytona, Texas and Kansas, yet late-race challenges prevented him from sealing the deal. For Pollex, it was only a matter of time before her long-term boyfriend made it to Victory Lane.

“It’s amazing," she said. "I keep telling him that he had to lose all those races and that God was building his character to win a big one. This was huge for us and our hometown and our family and for Johnny [Morris from Bass Pro Shops] and Barney [Visser, owner of Furniture Row Racing]. And we’ve been through so much. This is just the icing on the cake.”

Kevin Harvick finished second, 2.573 seconds behind Truex. The No. 4 blossomed when the sun went down, gaining on the top five in the final 50 laps. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver wasn’t upset about the first 450 laps.

“At the beginning of the race, we were just having the same problem getting in the corner and then sliding the back of the car up off the corner,” Harvick said. “Towards the end, we got the car on the racetrack a lot better and were able to really start driving it like we needed to keep up.

“I think we'd have been better off if they would have just kept running,” he said, adding, “But when the caution came out, because we had caught the 78, passed the 48, and then once he got new tires and an adjustment on there, it seemed like he was kind of able to get out in front of us, and we were never really able to make up any ground once we got around the 48.

Harvick's finish Sunday night brings his 2016 stats to one win, six top fives, and 10 top-10 finishes.

Other notable finishes include Chase Elliott finishing eighth in his first Coca-Cola 600, and Ryan Newman claimed just his fourth top 10 in 2016. 


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