Sunday, August 6, 2017

Truex Saves Enough Fuel for Watkins Glen Victory

Originally written for CLNS Media.

Martin Truex Jr. won the We Love New York 355 from Watkins Glen International on Sunday after saving enough fuel to hold off the field.

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Truex was the class of the field on Sunday, but a late caution set up a dramatic fuel-mileage finish where many of the frontrunners had to pit in the closing laps.  Truex stayed out and saved just enough fuel to hold off Matt Kenseth on the final lap to pick up his fourth victory of the season.

Truex let Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney pass him for the lead over the final run, but retook the lead when Blaney ran out of fuel with two laps to go.  Truex said giving up the lead was hard to deal with in the closing laps.

“It’s so stressful to let guys go by you for the lead, I’ve never had to do that before,” Truex said.  “You just got to listen to your crew chief; luckily I’ve got the best one in the business.  I just do what he says and it always just seems to work out.”

The victory at Watkins Glen was Truex’s first at the track.  After growing up in New Jersey, Truex said it was a dream to win there after watching his father race at the track in the 1990s.

“I’ve wanted to win here for so long, this is a special place,” Truex said.  “Coming here as a kid and spending time in the garage, just walking around and dreaming of someday to race here, let alone win.  This is a big one for our team.”

Matt Kenseth finished second on Sunday, and he was on Truex’s bumper as the two took the checkered flag.  Kenseth said he hoped Truex would run out of gas before the end of the race.

“He was managing his gaps well, and as soon as he knew I could go, he just went too,” Kenseth said.  “Hate to be that close and not get it, but it was a good finish.”

“I thought we were going to be better than the 78 on fuel, but we both probably have a little excess.”

Unofficial results:
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Daniel Suarez
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Kurt Busch
7. Kyle Busch
8. Ryan Blaney
9. AJ Allmendinger
10. Erik Jones
11. Chris Buescher
12. Michael McDowell
13. Chase Elliott
14. Jamie McMurray
15. Brad Keselowski
16. Kasey Kahne
17. Kevin Harvick
18. Paul Menard
19. Ty Dillon
20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
21. Aric Almirola
22. Danica Patrick
23. Kyle Larson
24. Joey Logano
25. Ryan Newman
26. Austin Dillon
27. David Ragan
28. Matt DiBenedetto
29. Jimmie Johnson
30. Boris Said
31. Gray Klutt
32. Brett Moffitt
33. Corey LaJoie
34. Cole Whitt
35. Trevor Bayne
36. Landon Cassill
37. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

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