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Monday, 23 October 2017 00:14

Truex Wins at Kansas in Round 2 Finale

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Truex Wins at Kansas in Round 2 Finale Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Truex won with a heavy heart following the death of a team member on Saturday night.

Martin Truex Jr. won the Hollywood Casino 400 from Kansas Speedway on Sunday afternoon to close out the second round of the Playoffs.

Truex had a strong car on Sunday, but a few pit miscues caused him to fall behind early.  After working his way back up front, Truex took the lead on the final restart and held off Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney to pick up his seventh victory of the season.

While under a red flag for a big accident late in the race, Truex called his shot and told his team they would win the race.

Truex said the victory was a testament to his team’s ability to continue pushing through adversity.

“It’s crazy how these things work out,” Truex said.  “Just got to give the best effort all the time; never give up and just push as hard as you can.  That’s what we did today and it worked.”

Truex and his team were racing with heavy hearts on Sunday following the sudden death of a crew member on Saturday night.  Fabricator Jim Watson died following a heart attack on Saturday, and Truex said the race was challenging following the sudden loss.

“I can’t believe how this day went; racing with heavy hearts,” Truex said.  “I know he’d want to be here celebrating with me right now.”

“Today was definitely a challenge, but fast cars prevail.”

Kansas was the cutoff race for Round 2 of the NASCAR Playoffs, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Larson were eliminated.

Kyle Busch finished 10th and was able to clinch the final transfer spot.  Busch said he needed other drivers to have misfortune following poor finishes in the first two races.

“I wouldn’t have thought a 29th, a 27th and a 10th would have made it through; obviously a lot of other guys had to have trouble for that to happen,” Busch said.

Busch now begins Round 3 as the second seed in the Playoffs, and he said he thinks he can lock himself into the final round by winning next Sunday.

“We’re going to Martinsville next week, and it’s going to really good for us,” Busch said.  “Hopefully I can punch my ticket to Homestead and take two weeks off…and race everybody like heck for that championship.”

Unofficial results:

1. Martin Truex Jr.

2. Kurt Busch

3. Ryan Blaney

4. Chase Elliott

5. Denny Hamlin

6. Chris Buescher

7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

8. Kevin Harvick

9. Aric Almirola

10. Kyle Busch

11. Jimmie Johnson

12. Paul Menard

13. Brad Keselowski

14. Austin Dillon

15. Kasey Kahne

16. Ty Dillon

17. David Ragan

18. Michael McDowell

19. Clint Bowyer

20. Trevor Bayne

21. Joey Logano

22. Matt DiBenedetto

23. Landon Cassill

24. Cole Whitt

25. Reed Sorenson

26. Jeffrey Earnhardt

27. Corey LaJoie

28. Gray Gaulding

29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

30. BJ McLeod

31. Brett Moffitt

32. AJ Allmendinger

33. Ryan Newman

34. Jamie McMurray

35. Erik Jones

36. Daniel Suarez

37. Matt Kenseth

38. Danica Patrick

39. Kyle Larson

40. Derrike Cope

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

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