Martin Truex Jr. has battled many obstacles during his 14 years in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He overcame them once again Sunday, earning his seventh trip to Victory Lane this season.
Truex, who started from the pole, received a restart penalty in the early stages of the Hollywood Casino 400 after the Furniture Row Racing driver went below the white line before reaching the start/finish line.
Truex remained on the lead lap after serving a pass-through penalty, but an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 91 put them one lap behind the leader.
Truex became the first driver in history to sweep both races at Kansas Speedway, just hours after the sudden death of road-crew fabricator Jim Watson.
“Just can’t say enough about all these guys on this Furniture Row/Bass Pro Toyota,” Truex said. “Just really proud of them. Definitely racing with heavy hearts today with losing Jim (Watson) last night. Want to send our condolences to his family and all of his friends. He was a heck of a guy and a great worker and put a lot of speed in these Furniture Row Toyotas, so glad we could get him one here.”
“Excited to get another one here at Kansas. This feels really awesome. It’s really Furniture Row’s home track. It just feels really good to finally get – to finally get another one here. We got that one in the spring after so many heartbreaks, and then today it looked like it was going to happen and we just persevered.”
Four drivers were eliminated from advancing into the Round of 8, ending their chance of becoming the 2017 champion. Jamie McMurray, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Larson were among the bottom four at the conclusion of the second elimination race of the MENCS Playoffs.
Larson, who was third in the standings coming into the weekend, failed to advance after the engine in his No. 42 Target Chevrolet expired during Stage 2 of the event. As a result, Larson finished in the 39th position and ninth in the standings – nine points behind defending champion Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson went through his own troubles that put his chances of an eighth championship in jeopardy. The Hendrick Motorsports driver spun twice within five laps, but received a break on Lap 198.
Kenseth, who was 1 of 14 involved in a crash, was parked by NASCAR after having too many men over the wall working on the No. 20 Toyota.
Kurt Busch finished second, his best finish since winning the Daytona 500 in February. Ryan Blaney finished third, while Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-5.
Chris Buescher finished sixth to match his best finish of the season at Michigan in August. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished seventh, his seventh top-10 of the season.
Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Kyle Busch finished 10th.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series head to the Paper Clip on Sunday, October 29th to kickoff the third round of the Playoffs. Coverage at Martinsville starts at 3 p.m ET on the NBC Sports Network.