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Sunday, 17 September 2017 23:13

Truex Begins Playoffs with a Victory

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Truex Begins Playoffs with a Victory Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr. didn't need a win to get to the next round, but that wasn't going to stop him on Sunday.

Martin Truex Jr. won the Tale of the Turtles 400 from Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, the first race of NASCAR’s playoffs.

Truex took the lead in the final stage on Sunday, and he was able to pull away from Chase Elliott over the final run to pick up his fifth victory of the season.  Truex already had the most playoff points going into Round 1, but this victory automatically puts him into the next round.

Truex said he was excited he and his team could get to victory lane to kick off the playoffs.

“This is the playoffs, this is what it’s all about,” Truex said.  “I’m so excited…my team’s unbelievable.  We’re just having fun…proud of this group.”

Truex did not start the day off well, with multiple pit road problems costing him spots in the first segment.  Truex was able to battle back, and he finally took the lead in the final segment.

Truex said his team never gave up when they fell back early.

“We got the speeding penalty…after last year having to come from the back,” Truex said.  “We just kept our heads down and kept fighting…just did what we always do.”

“It’s important to come here and not let the pressure get to you, and I think we did a good job of that.  On to the next round.”

Elliott entered the playoffs without a victory, and he had a strong showing on Sunday.  Elliott fell short of beating Truex, but Elliott said this was the kind of race his team needed to kick off their playoff run.

“We had a solid day all around…our car was fast and we had good pit stops on pit road,” Elliott said.  “Without some luck I wasn’t going to beat the 78 [of Truex]…I didn’t have anything for Martin.”

“This is the time to go and we gave it our all today.  I think it’s a testament to our team and the lack of quit that everybody has.”

Unofficial results:

1. Martin Truex Jr.

2. Chase Elliott

3. Kevin Harvick

4. Denny Hamlin

5. Kyle Larson

6. Brad Keselowski

7. Joey Logano

8. Jimmie Johnson

9. Matt Kenseth

10. Jamie McMurray

11. Ryan Blaney

12. Daniel Suarez

13. Clint Bowyer

14. Paul Menard

15. Kyle Busch

16. Austin Dillon

17. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

18. Danica Patrick

19. Kurt Busch

20. Landon Cassill

21. Kasey Kahne

22. Trevor Bayne

23. Ryan Newman

24. Aric Almirola

25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

26. AJ Allmendinger

27. Chris Buescher

28. Ty Dillon

29. David Ragan

30. Michael McDowell

31. Matt DiBenedetto

32. Reed Sorenson

33. Erik Jones

34. Jeffrey Earnhardt

35. Cole Whitt

36. Corey LaJoie

37. Brett Moffitt

38. Gray Gaulding

39. Timmy Hill

40. Ray Black Jr.

Bryan Nicodemus

My name is Bryan Nicodemus.  I'm from Pittsburgh, PA, and I am currently a sophomore at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.  I am majoring in Public Relations, and I hope to work in NASCAR someday.  Follow me on Twitter: @mmarkaholic55