From the Green Flag,
it was a battle between two men—Brad Keselowski’s #2 Ford and Martin Truex Jr.’s #78 Toyota. The two traded blows throughout the practice and qualifying sessions, with Keselowski starting on pole and Truex second. As the race went on the two traded back and forth for the lead. Although the race went relatively incident-free, Kevin Harvick suffered a hard hit near the end of stage 1 as his right front tire gave out coming onto the front stretch. Joey Logano took the lead briefly by staying out during the ensuing caution period, but Truex Jr. made a commanding charge through the field to take stage 1. Stage 2 passed relatively peacefully, with the #78 team falling into a groove, leading lap after lap (a total of 150 by the end of the day) and winning the second stage of the day.
With 16 Laps Remaining,
Danica Patrick’s luck went south. Her engine blew up in spectacular fashion, bringing out a late race caution. As we’ve seen multiple times so far this season, the strategies carefully put together by teams to navigate the stages get completely mixed up when a caution comes out so late in the race. Keselowski beat Truex Jr. off pit road in a frantic dash, and track bar issues seemed to be plaguing the 78 car. However, luck played into Truex’s hands with just two laps to go as Keselowski’s car suddenly lost power.
With Keselowski slipping away, Truex stormed ahead and took victory at the Kobalt 400.
Further Back, Things Got Ugly
between Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. Logano stuck down the inside, pushing Busch up the track and trying to squeeze past. Mid turn, however, he lost traction, came up the track, and sent Busch spinning into the infield.
While many spectators saw the incident as unintentional, one Kyle Busch certainly didn’t think so, storming out of his car and confronting Logano after the race. The altercation turned violent immediately, with officials separating the two drivers. Busch was pulled from the ground with a cut on his forehead, blood running down his face.
A fuming Kyle Busch said, “He flat out just drove straight in the corner and wrecked me. That’s how Joey races, so he’s going to get it.”
In stark contrast with the carnage behind him, Truex Jr felt absolutely blessed. “It was a gift,” he said, “I mean, we’ve been on the other side of that so many times, this is the first one [that’s] kinda just come our way.”