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Racing under the lights for the second straight week, Martin Truex Jr. took the checkered flag on Saturday at the 2018 Quaker State 400 from Kentucky Speedway.
Truex, who started the race on the pole, finished ahead of Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick in the top five.
Here’s how things played out in the top 10 during Saturday’s race:
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Ryan Blaney
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Kyle Busch
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Kurt Busch
7. Erik Jones
8. Aric Almirola
9. Kyle Larson
10. Joey Logano
Full results available via NASCAR.com.
Truex arrived in Kentucky this week looking to repeat as champion at this event and seeking his fourth win of the season. He got off to a strong start by winning the pole position during qualifying.
NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC
You can’t do any better than Martin Truex Jr. did Saturday night at Kentucky.
For the second straight season, he won both stages on route to a dominant win, presented by @ToyotaRacing. https://t.co/Pb3L73QJnE
“I think it goes without saying that everybody knows that you want as many as you can get. In our case last year, we got a lot of points and won a lot of stages because we were fast and were leading a lot of laps. Everybody is still trying to win as many stages as they can. We’re doing the same things we did last year, we just haven’t won as many.”
Truex garnered two bonus points for winning each of the first two stages en route to leading a race-high 174 laps before crossing the finish line in first place.
Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck
Update: Fifth stage win and now 20 playoff points for Truex. https://t.co/0d09snn56k
Coming off last Saturday’s wreck-filled race at Daytona International Speedway, things were much tamer this week. There were still moments when drivers lost control of their vehicles, but nothing serious enough to knock half of the field out of the race:
Truex’s win also helped narrow the gap between the top three drivers in the playoff standings. Kyle Busch, who came in fourth, still leads the field with 799 points. Harvick is 59 points behind him, followed by Truex at 110 points off the pace.
That trio has combined to win 14 of the 19 races this season. Clint Bowyer is the only other driver with multiple victories under his belt.
Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck
Here’s a stat: Aside from the three restrictor-plate races, Harvick, KyBusch, Truex and Bowyer have won EVERY RACE THIS SEASON.
This track has been tailor-made for Truex’s racing style. He’s won all six stages at this track since NASCAR began counting stages prior to the start of the 2017 season.
Truex and the No. 78 team will look to keep their momentum going next week when NASCAR heads to New Hampshire.