Martin Truex Jr. wins in overtime at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Martin Truex Jr. taking the checkered flag.

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The “Jersey Boy” Martin Truex Jr. gave Furniture Row Racing another victory when he kicked off the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 with a strong finish in overtime, achieving his second win in the postseason Sunday in Charlotte.

Truex Jr. led 91 of 337 laps to win the Bank of America 500 in his black No. 78 Toyota.  This race is the fourth of ten playoff events for the series.  This victory is his sixth of the season and his second at the 1.5 mile race track.  He now has thirteen victories in NASCAR’s top division of drivers.

The win gives Truex an automatic birth into the next three race elimination series, known as the Round of 8.  He continues to lead in the postseason standings by a large margin due to his consistent accumulation of earning playoff points through stage wins, race victories and winning the regular season championship.  Truex seems to have the momentum and will be hard to beat in the postseason down the stretch.

Runner-up in second place again was Chase Elliott in the No. 24 Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports.  Elliott led only 12 laps, however, he finished just .911 seconds behind Truex when he crossed the finish line at the checkered flag.

Truex actually struggled early in the race and the Furniture Row team had to steadily improve the No. 78 Toyota racing vehicle through the first two stages.  He did not win playoff points for the first time since July, however, he adjusted and powered to victory over the field in the final stage of the race.

He eventually won in overtime after two late caution flags added extra laps and he had to survive two restarts and hold off fellow Toyota driver Denny Hamlin.

Kevin Harvick finished in third place leading on four separate occasions for a total of 149 laps in his No. 4 Ford, Denny Hamlin was fourth and Jamie McMurray in fifth all are eligible postseason drivers.  The other eligible drivers Jimmie Johnson was seventh, Ryan Blaney eighth, Kyle Larson tenth, Matt Kenseth 11th, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 13th, Brad Keselowski 15th and Kyle Busch 29th.

Busch who won the previous two races in the playoffs had a rough day.  He scraped the wall on Laps 135 and 216, spun on Lap 278 to raise a late caution flag and hit the wall again on Lap 325.  He raced through all these obstacles in a damaged race car and finished six laps off the winners pace.

The Series will now move on to Talladega Superspeedway with a scheduled start time of 2:00 pm eastern.  All local racing fans in the Mint Hill area can turn on their TV’s to NBC, listen on MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, or Stream on NBC Sports.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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