Truex makes history, breaks personal record in victory at Charlotte
Martin Truex celebrates his victory in the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Photo by Ryan Willard/The Racing Experts

By Zachary Lange and Dominic Aragon
May 30, 2016

CONCORD, N.C.—After the shortest (3:44.8) of any Coca-Cola 600’s in NASCAR history, Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. took home the checkered flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Truex Jr. led 588 miles, the most of any race in NASCAR history. He also set the Charlotte Motor Speedway record of most laps led with 392.

The win ends a 35-race winless streak for the team and driver.

“It’s just kind of sinking in now,” he said. “We won the 600. Just really proud of my team. Everybody believed in me and made the opportunity possible.

“We keep fighting and never give up. We never quit. I’m just proud of the guys sticking behind me.”

After a caution on lap 339, Truex Jr. lined up next to Jimmie Johnson and was able to hold onto the lead and secure the victory. Johnson’s pass for the lead was the only one under racing conditions that were non-pit cycle related in which Truex Jr. was not the leader.

“It’s a weekend you dream about,” Truex Jr. said. “I’ve had confidence in my team. There are a lot of great people behind me.” One element to a victory that will help play in the strategy and decision making of the No. 78 team is with a win. Their victory clinches a berth into the Chase for the Cup, barring the team falling outside the top-30 in driver’s standings.

Martin Truex Jr. pre-race at the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday.
Photo by Ryan Willard/The Racing Experts

Adam Stevens, crew chief to Kyle Busch said that their win in Martinsville will open up the playoff to make more at risk decisions for additional victories.

The Racing Experts asked crew chief Cole Pearn about the potential change in decision making, to which Pearn replied, “Yeah, I'd like to think so.  I'd like to somehow screw somebody else out of some wins here before the year is up.  

“Adam [Stevens] is pretty good at that.  He's a really great guy, honestly.  I've learned a ton from him and handed him a couple races this year, so hopefully we can flip the switch and do it the other way.”

Truex Jr. has now led 809 laps on the season, the most he’s ever led in his career in any of his seasons running in the Sprint Cup Series.

“That's what every driver wants,” he said. “We all want to be in that position.  We all want to go to the track each and every weekend and know we have a chance of winning, run up front, lead laps.  

“I can't tell you how much more fun it is, obviously.  Hopefully we can keep it up.

“There's a long way to go.  We're going to keep pushing hard and keep trying to work, like I said, towards that championship goal.”

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