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Truex Jr., FRR A Mile High After Winning Pocono

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, June 7 2015
 Martin Truex Jr. and his Furniture Row Racing team celebrate in Victory Lane at Pocono. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

Martin Truex Jr. and his Furniture Row Racing team celebrate in Victory Lane at Pocono. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing proved that one-car teams can win Sprint Cup Series races. They did that by collecting a popular victory Sunday in the Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway.

sprint-logo-08The win was the first for Truex since he joined Furniture Row prior to the 2014 season, the first for crew chief Cole Pearn and second in 285 start for the Denver, Colorado-based one-car operation.

It elicited waves of congratulations from fellow drivers to Truex and slaps on the back from fellow crew chiefs for Pearn.

“Well we finally got it,” Truex said in Victory Lane. “That is all I can say we finally got it.”

Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing finished second.

Third was Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports.

The victory was the first for Truex since he won with Michael Waltrip Racing 59 races ago. It likely will put the team into the season-ending, 10-race, 16-driver Chase playoff.

The victory was the third of Truex’s career and second on an oval.

And while the victory was an emotional one for FRR and Truex, it shouldn’t really surprise fans or competitors. The team has been good all season long. Just once in the 15 races run in 2015 has Truex and the No. 78 Chevrolet not finished in the top-1o.

“We have had a great season,” Truex said. “We have had everything it has taken to win races we just hadn’t got it done yet.  I felt like we had the best car a few times today.  I’m not sure we were.  The No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) was really good at times and we were really good.  It just takes a lot of things to go your way to pull these things together.  Just can’t thank all my guys enough, Barney Visser, everybody at Furniture Row, everybody back in Denver for working so hard. This is a brand new racecar and they have been working really hard lately.  Just proud of them and thankful to drive great race cars.”

One of Harvick’s nicknames is The Closer. On Sunday at the 2.5-mile Pocono triangle, he was never given a chance to close.

Preventing that was a series of restarts in which Truex was continually better than the defending series champion.

“Yeah, it was a pretty sight,” Truex said of jumping to leads on restarts. “I was always hoping they were two-wide behind me.  That was the best I could hope for.  Luckily we were able to get restarts.  We had the right gear ratios today for that and I was fortunately able to do what I needed to do there.  Had a good shove from the 22 (Joey Logano) once, which helped, and honestly, once we were able to put some cars between us and the 4 car (Harvick), that’s when I really just kind of settled in and got real comfortable because I knew he was the guy we were racing for the win. That little bit of a gap helped a bunch.”

“He got out there too far on the restarts,” Harvick said. “We were really struggling with third gear on the restarts and kind of had to go into defense mode to just kind of protect our track position.  So that really put us in a box, and then the caution coming out the lap that we were pitting, you know, we just got behind him, and hopefully that turns full circle as we get towards the end of the year.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400

Pocono Raceway

Long Pond, Pennsylvania

Sunday, June 07, 2015

 

  1. (3) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 160, $201810.
  2. (5) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 160, $232850.
  3. (9) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 160, $176086.
  4. (11) Joey Logano, Ford, 160, $166683.
  5. (1) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 160, $133050.
  6. (19) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 160, $140001.
  7. (14) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 160, $124856.
  8. (15) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 160, $117723.
  9. (10) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 160, $134456.
  10. (8) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160, $101615.
  11. (20) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 160, $101640.
  12. (27) Greg Biffle, Ford, 160, $116233.
  13. (12) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 160, $97675.
  14. (4) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 160, $131986.
  15. (2) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 160, $82550.
  16. (18) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 160, $107283.
  17. (7) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 160, $125266.
  18. (29) Ty Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 160, $96778.
  19. (6) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 160, $117106.
  20. (30) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 160, $102503.
  21. (28) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 160, $106709.
  22. (23) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 160, $113303.
  23. (21) David Ragan, Toyota, 160, $106009.
  24. (33) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 160, $119845.
  25. (32) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 160, $78345.
  26. (34) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 160, $89753.
  27. (35) David Gilliland, Ford, 160, $95342.
  28. (39) Cole Whitt, Ford, 160, $77545.
  29. (38) Josh Wise, Ford, 159, $77395.
  30. (36) Brett Moffitt #, Ford, 158, $79745.
  31. (16) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 158, $82095.
  32. (41) Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, 158, $73920.
  33. (40) Jeb Burton #, Toyota, 158, $73720.
  34. (31) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 158, $73520.
  35. (42) Travis Kvapil(i), Ford, 157, $73370.
  36. (37) JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 155, $73120.
  37. (22) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 153, $80931.
  38. (26) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, Radiator, 143, $86102.
  39. (13) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, Accident, 141, $96105.
  40. (43) Brendan Gaughan(i), Chevrolet, Electrical, 129, $60030.
  41. (24) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, Accident, 120, $82375.
  42. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 105, $60030.
  43. (25) Aric Almirola, Ford, Engine, 88, $85466.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  134.266 mph.

Time of Race:  02 Hrs, 58 Mins, 45 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.346 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  8 for 31 laps.

Lead Changes:  12 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:    0; C. Edwards 1-14; M. Truex Jr. 15-27; C. Edwards 28-29; K. Kahne 30-31; K. Harvick 32-51; M. Truex Jr. 52-69; K. Harvick 70-87; A. Dillon 88-92; J. Gordon 93; M. Truex Jr. 94-132; K. Harvick 133; M. Truex Jr. 134-160.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  M. Truex Jr. 4 times for 97 laps; K. Harvick 3 times for 39 laps; C. Edwards 2 times for 16 laps; A. Dillon 1 time for 5 laps; K. Kahne 1 time for 2 laps; J. Gordon 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: K. Harvick – 559; M. Truex Jr. – 520; J. Johnson – 481; J. Logano – 480; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 465; B. Keselowski – 441; J. Mcmurray – 427; K. Kahne – 417; M. Kenseth – 415; J. Gordon – 411; P. Menard – 385; Kurt Busch – 379; D. Hamlin – 379; A. Almirola – 379; R. Newman – 374; C. Edwards – 368.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, June 7 2015
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