Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Martin Truex Jr.'s restart prowess propels him to Kansas win

Jamie McMurray (1) pits during the NASCAR Monster Cup auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Blaney earned his first career NASCAR Cup pole for tonight's race, but only after traffic jams at inspection prevented 11 cars from getting on the track.

STAGE 1: Kyle Busch, victor of last year's Go Bowling 400, won Stage 1 taking the lead from Truex on the 63rd of 80 laps. A part from the 22 Joey Logano auto broke and collected Danica Patrick and Aric Almirola into a hard wreck. If he's a factor late in today's race, it's time to start taking the 17 much more seriously.

"They're all so special, honestly". Those include leading the race's second-most laps (83) and winning the second stage.

"I noticed when I walked to my vehicle for the first round pit road was kind of empty", Blaney said. Keselowski, Harvick and Blaney went three-wide with Keselowski on the high side, and he made the move stick.

"Awesome day. Awesome weekend", said an overjoyed Truex.

"It's really just nice to be back on track, to be honest with you", Blaney said.

"Toward the end we made some runs and made the most of it". But as the field rounded Turn 2 on the first lap, Joey Logano who started second, dropped to eighth with an ill-handling vehicle. Almirola was trailing the accident and appeared to lose control as he came upon the crash site, skidding into the cars of Patrick and Logano. Logano and Patrick were released from the infield care center. He was conscious and alert. I hope Aric is alright. "NASCAR does everything it can to make it safe for everybody but these things happen". We've been really close a couple times this year, but it feels good to get it done. I love passing cars and there's a lot of them on this race track.

When it comes to escaping accidents unharmed.

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"Just out of nowhere".

"Yeah, I'm OK", Logano said.

"I was super loose there on the last restarts, and the 78 got me spinning my tires a little bit". "I know NASCAR is cracking down a lot on tech".

It was Busch's fifth victory in his last 10 starts in the series going back to 2015, and came after a victory at Kansas in May 2014 - the last time he drove a truck at the venue. Truex dove to the bottom and roared away from the rest of the field, ensuring there would be no more misfortune. Truex won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. "If I came out second or third, it took me a long time to get around guys". Blaney fought off challenges by Harvick and Larson.

France's Simon Pagenaud, the defending race and series champion, and American Josef Newgarden have won the last two races for Penske. "But good showing. Go out there and lead laps and run with some really good cars". "That's where this team deserves to be". And he did it with a master-class series of restarts.

Drivers have a chance to earn one playoff point with a stage win and five points with a race victory. Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer and three of four Hendrick Motorsports drivers - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and Kasey Kahne - were among them. But all of them quickly sliced through the field, despite an intense glare in the third and fourth corners caused by the setting sun.

ELLIOTT DAMAGED: Chase Elliott's Chevrolet suffered damage to the right front fender while exiting his pit stall when he collided with Michael McDowell, who was entering the stall during a Stage 1 caution. He already has two wins this season, at Texas and Bristol.

Patrick and Logano were running just outside the top 10 with 67 laps to go.

Johnson had all kinds of trouble during the stage. The number 48 driver had a pit road penalty, made contact with Kurt Busch twice and also suffered a flat tire during the race.

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