Martin Truex Jr. sweeps the first two stages at Kentucky

It looks like a return to 2017 form for Martin Truex Jr., who completed a sweep of the first two stages at Kentucky Speedway.

Martin Truex Jr. sweeps the first two stages at Kentucky
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Auto-Owners Insurance
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Auto-Owners Insurance
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Auto-Owners Insurance
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Snickers Intense
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Snickers Intense
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Fusion DEX Imaging
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Fusion DEX Imaging

Truex had little trouble holding off Kyle Busch to claim the Stage 2 victory, his fifth of the 2018 season.

Ryan Blaney finished third, Kevin Harvick fourth and Kyle Larson completed the top-five.

Also collecting stage points were Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Erik Jones and Paul Menard.

Following pit stops between Stages 1 and 2, Kurt Busch was the first off pit road but Logano elected to remain on the track and held the lead when Stage 2 went green on Lap 88 of 267.

He was followed by Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Truex and Alex Bowman. Johnson and Bowman took just two tires on their respective stops.

Busch quickly moved into the lead on the restart as Truex took over the runner-up position.

On Lap 98, Truex dove below Busch and reclaimed the lead. He quickly began putting distance between himself and Busch.

On Lap 109, Bowman slammed the Turn 3 wall after losing a tire which placed the race under caution. Truex took two tires and was the first off pit road.

Bowman took his No. 88 Chevrolet to the garage and was done for the night. “It was just getting really tight, I added a click of rear brake. I had to pump the brakes … but nothing shook or anything,” Bowman said over his team radio. “I’m sorry guys.”

A tweet from Bowman’s team later said the No. 88 lost a right-front brake rotor, which was the cause of their incident.

Truex held the lead on the restart on Lap 115, followed by Kyle Busch, Harvick, Blaney and Menard.

With 40 to go in Stage 2, Truex held a sizable lead over Busch while Blaney had moved into third.

On Lap 135, Larson split Logano and Bowyer to move into the fifth position.

With 20 laps remaining in the second stage, Truex maintained a nearly two second lead over Kyle Busch as Blaney remained in third, 2.2 seconds behind Truex.

 

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Martin Truex Jr. dominates Stage 1 at Kentucky
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