Sunday, September 18, 2016

Truex Wins Chase Opener

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

 Martin Truex Jr. won the first race of the Chase on Sunday at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 from Chicagoland Speedway.
Jonathan Daniel (Getty Images)

Truex had to fight rookies Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney late in the race for the lead.  After chasing Elliott down in the closing laps, a spin brought out the caution to send the race into overtime.  After pitting, Truex started behind three cars that stayed out on old tires.  He got by Blaney on the restart, and held onto the lead over the final two laps.

Truex said this victory was exactly how his team wanted to start off the Chase.

“This is how we wanted to start it off; it feels awesome,” Truex said.  “Everybody on this team…gave us everything we need.”

Truex is now locked into the next round of the Chase because of his victory on Sunday.  He said his team will still go out and try to win the next two weeks.

“We have more races to win and we can win some.  At the end of the day, it was a total team effort, and that’s what it’s going to take to win a championship.”

Elliott finished third after leading late in the race.  He said his team just couldn’t overcome restarting fifth on the final restart.

“Feel like we did a good job controlling the things we could control today,” Elliott said.  “There’s some things you just can’t control with the amount of guys that stay out and line up on the restart.  We played the cards we were dealt and we came up short.”

Unofficial results:
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Joey Logano
3. Chase Elliott
4. Ryan Blaney
5. Brad Keselowski
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Kasey Kahne
8. Kyle Busch
9. Matt Kenseth
10. Alex Bowman
11. Jamie McMurray
12. Jimmie Johnson
13. Kurt Busch
14. Austin Dillon
15. Carl Edwards
16. Tony Stewart
17. AJ Allmendinger
18. Kyle Larson
19. Ryan Newman
20. Kevin Harvick
21. Paul Menard
22. Clint Bowyer
23. Trevor Bayne
24. Danica Patrick
25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
26. Greg Biffle
27. Ty Dillon
28. Chris Buescher
29. Landon Cassill
30. Matt DiBenedetto
31. Brian Scott
32. Aric Almirola
33. Michael Annett
34. Casey Mears
35. David Ragan
36. Cole Whitt
37. Michael McDowell
38. Josh Wise
39. Reed Sorenson
40. Joey Gase

Kena Krutsinger (Getty Images)

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