Photo by: Jared C. Tilton
Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski controlled much of the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The two combined for 239 laps led, but when Keselowski decelerated for a potential problem, the win was Truex’s for the taking.
Truex captured the win, but it was overshadowed by a post-race scuffle on pit road. After exiting his vehicle, 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch went straight to the No. 22 pit stall of Joey Logano.
It is unclear if Logano was struck by the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, but after NASCAR officials broke up the exchange Busch emerged with blood on his forehead.
Logano and Busch made slight contact in the final two laps after dodging an off the pace Keselowski. Nevertheless, the contact sent the No. 18 sliding toward the entrance of pit lane. Busch avoided further damage and finished 22nd because of the incident.
“I got dumped,” Busch said afterward, “Flat-out just drove straight into the corner and wrecked us. That’s how Joey races, so he’s gonna get it.”
Logano didn’t seem phased by Busch’s reaction.
“We were just racing hard there at the end,” Logano said, “I was underneath him on the backstretch and he tried to crash me into the corner getting underneath Brad (Keselowski) there and at that point I was just trying get through the corner. I was sideways all the way through and got into him. Nothing intentional.”
“I’ve never had an issue with Kyle,” Logano continued. “Kyle and I have always raced really well together. We’ve never had an issue, but I guess that’s over.”
If Busch sticks to his word, what happens in Vegas may not stay in Vegas.
There was much to be celebrated for however, as Truex became the first driver to claim all three stages in a single event.
“We definitely had our share of races where we’ve dominated and gave one away, and it looked like today was going to be another one of those,” Truex said, “The runs just didn’t work out the way we needed them. We were struggling on the really long runs.”
The struggles turned into triumphant in the remaining laps for Truex, who earned his eight career Cup Series victory.
Truex may not have received all the glory despite a dominating performance, but he will take it for what it’s worth. After all, he knows all too well what it feels like to come short of reaching Victory Lane.
“It feels good to come out on the good end for once.”