Sunday, June 7, 2015

Martin Truex Jr. Returns to Victory Lane in Pocono

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Martin Truex Jr. won the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 from Pocono Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Truex returned to victory lane for the first time since a win at Sonoma on June 23, 2013.

“It feels unbelievable,” Truex said in victory lane.

The victory was the culmination of an early season of strong runs, including a stretch over the last four races where he led over 450 laps.  The win locked Truex into the Chase for the Sprint Cup after running second in points for most of the season.  Truex said it was a testament to the determination of his team.

“I can’t thank all these guys enough on the Furniture Row Chevrolet, what a great group of guys.  I knew we were going to get one…I knew we had the team, I knew we had what it took.  Just had to get things to play out the way we needed them to.”

Truex’s return to victory lane is made even more special by the personal and professional struggles he has gone through the past two years.  Truex left Michael Waltrip Racing following the 2013 season after a Chase scandal caused NAPA to pull sponsorship, and last year his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex was diagnosed with cancer.

“I feel like I’m on cloud 9 right now, just awesome.  Last year and a half’s been tough, but this feels pretty dang good.”

The win was a popular one in the garage, with many drivers offering Truex praise on pit road following the race, and some heading to victory lane to congratulate Truex on his win.

“I’m really happy for Martin, I know he went through a lot,” runner-up Kevin Harvick said after the race.  “If you’re going to lose to somebody today, that’s a great person to lose to.”

Unofficial results:

1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Joey Logano
5. Kurt Busch
6. Matt Kenseth
7. Jamie McMurray
8. Kyle Larson
9. Kyle Busch
10. Denny Hamlin
11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
12. Greg Biffle
13. Kasey Kahne
14. Jeff Gordon
15. Carl Edwards
16. Casey Mears
17. Brad Keselowski
18. Ty Dillon
19. Austin Dillon
20. Justin Allgaier
21. Tony Stewart
22. Clint Bowyer
23. David Ragan
24. Trevor Bayne
25. Landon Cassill
26. Alex Bowman
27. David Gilliland
28. Cole Whitt
29. Josh Wise
30. Brett Moffitt
31. Paul Menard
32. Matt DiBenedetto
33. Jeb Burton
34. Michael Annett
35. Travis Kvapil
36. J.J. Yeley
37. Danica Patrick
38. AJ Allmendinger
39. Ryan Newman
40. Brendan Gaughan
41. Sam Hornish Jr.
42. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
43. Aric Almirola

Photo courtesy Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

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