L&T Motorsport

TRUEX JR STARTS THE CHASE IN STYLE

Martin Truex Jr took advantage of a great final pit stop to steal the first race of the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup away from rookie Chase Elliott at Chicagoland Speedway.

Elliott, and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson dominated for most of the race, and Elliott looked for much of the final 100 laps as if he was going to break his duck, particularly when Johnson fell back with a speeding penalty.

However, Truex Jr had led the early laps, and after a flat tire put him a lap down, he battled back to move up to 2nd. A final caution with just a few laps to go gave him the chance to get the great pit stop and final restart required to leapfrog Elliott and clinch his place in the second round of the Chase.

Three drivers stayed out on that final restart, making the final two laps chaotic for the faster cars to negotiate. Joey Logano came through to finish 2nd ahead of Elliott, whilst Ryan Blaney’s gamble to stay out paid off as he finished 4th. Rounding out the top 5 was Logano’s Penske teammate Brad Keselowski.

After the first 3 races of the Chase, the bottom 4 drivers are eliminated. It was therefore a bad day for underdog Chris Buescher in 28th, whilst Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick will be disappointed with 18th and 20th place finishes respectively.

Both Larson and Harvick had strong pace, but ran into problems at crucial moments in the race. Harvick fell a lap down early due to an ill-timed caution, and was never able to get that lap back, whilst Larson looked good for a top 10 finish before a flat tire forced him into a late unscheduled pit stop.

Both drivers will be looking for a recovery next time out at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a race dominated by Joe Gibbs Racing in recent years, winning 3 of the last 4 September events.

@JR24GP
Image – NASCAR.com

Top 10 Results 2016 Chase Standings
1.       Martin Truex Jr

2.       Joey Logano

3.       Chase Elliott

4.       Ryan Blaney

5.       Brad Keselowski

6.       Denny Hamlin

7.       Kasey Kahne

8.       Kyle Busch

9.       Matt Kenseth

10.     Alex Bowman

Martin Truex Jr – Qualified

Brad Keselowski +22

Kyle Busch +19

Denny Hamlin +18

Joey Logano +16

Chase Elliott +12

Matt Kenseth +11

Jimmie Johnson +10

Carl Edwards +5

Kurt Busch +4

Jamie McMurray +3

Tony Stewart +1

Austin Dillon -1

Kevin Harvick -1

Kyle Larson -2

Chris Buescher -12

 

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