Martin Truex Jr. captured his seventh victory of 2017 in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Kansas Speedway. With his victory at Kansas, Truex became the first driver in NASCAR’s history to win five consecutive 1.5-mile races dating back to the spring Kansas race weekend.
Truex’s team, Furniture Row Racing, lost one of their team members the night before the race and while the team raced with heavy hearts, their teammate was top of mind when the checkered flag flew.
“I’m just really proud of this whole team, everybody here and this whole group – both the 77 and 78 teams, everybody at Furniture Row for coming in there and winning this one for Jim (Watson),” Truex Jr. said, following the race. “Definitely thinking about his family tonight and hopefully they’re hanging on pretty good.”
Truex (first in points) and fellow Toyota teammates Denny Hamlin (second) and Kyle Busch (seventh) advanced to the Round of 8 in the Playoffs as Matt Kenseth was eliminated following a 37th-place finish.
The next round starts at the half-mile short track at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway next weekend followed by another intermediate track of Texas Motor Speedway and the one-mile oval in Phoenix. With his success this season, Truex is focused on this final round before the four contenders will battle for the championship in Homestead.
“I feel good about all of them, but Martinsville comes first so we’re focused on that one the most,” Truex said. “We have the first pit stall already, which is a good start for that. We have to go there and qualify well and hope to race well all day. If we can just continue to not have any major problems, we should be good to get to Miami and then go have some fun there.”
Hamlin (fifth) and Busch (tenth) also finished in the top 10 at Kansas as Busch captured the stage one win and Hamlin captured the stage two win. Toyota drivers led a combined 209 laps with Busch leading a race-high 112 laps.