Winner’s Weekend: Martin Truex Jr. – Kansas

Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn recap the strategy that brought them to Victory Lane in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

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COMMENTATOR 1: So what a year it's been for Martin Truex Jr, and he continued the strong runs on Friday afternoon winning the pole position.

COMMENTATOR 2: This team is racing with heavy hearts today. They lost their fabricator. Jim Watson died of a heart attack last night. A big part of the organization. All the teams saddened today.

- For our guys it definitely was a tough day, but they all-- as they always do-- just came together as a group.

COLE PEARN: We're kind of all going through the motions. At points in time, everybody is kind of lost in thought. He was the purest racer that you can get, and he would have wanted us to go in and do our best today.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

CLAYTON HUGHES: 267 exciting laps here in Kansas. Let's do it the Truex way, baby.

COMMENTATOR 3: Green flag waves. On the brake Martin Truex-- he jumps out and pulls away early.

CLAYTON HUGHES: The cautions' out. Caution's out. Competition caution out.

Pit style number one's going to work out for Truex. He gets out first.

COMMENTATOR 4: Green flag is out. Truex is gone. He'll drop all the way down to the apron.

CLAYTON HUGHES: They're posting us for a restart violation, Cole.

COLE PEARN: They're saying because we dropped below the line? That's not a [BLEEP] rule, man. I was pretty hot at that time. I didn't understand it, but apparently they went over it in the driver's meeting.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. Yeah, you know that restart-- I just dropped below the white line before the start finish line. It's something I did here in the spring and never even got a warning about it. So I was a little surprised at the call.

COLE PEARN: Yeah, we got to pit this time. Do a pass-through.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. A chicken- [BLEEP] call right there.

At the end of the day it is what it is, and we just had to move on from it. And we got a fast car. We got a long way to go. It's early. We can make it up.

CLAYTON HUGHES: I got one in the wall. Got one in the wall up there. Stay down.

COMMENTATOR 4: A big break for Truex. He will come around now and pick up at the tail end of the field. Green and white checker at the start finish line. Stage one is complete.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. I felt like we were in pretty good position and had a pretty good handle on the race car. And then it just started vibrating pretty good, and it was starting to shake real bad real fast.

Hey, I got a vibration. Loose wheel, I think. It's shaking bad quick.

COLE PEARN: Bring it in. Come to us here. We'll be ready.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. I'm pretty sure it's the right front, but I'm not positive.

COLE PEARN: 10-4. We're going to put four on either way, so we're going to lose a lap either way. Right rear, Martin. Looks like it got something stuck behind it. It we save fuel here this run, we can make it when those guys all have to pit. I think that's our best bet.

We made the call to kind of stretch it, which was really aggressive. We had to make up a lot of laps to be able to do it on fuel, and I think that was one of our key moments in the race for sure.

COMMENTATOR 4: Denny Hamlin will score the stage win. Denny Hamlin across the line followed by Harvick, Keselowski, Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Getting on the gas as they come down to the line, and again, a great break by Kevin Harvick.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. We restarted seventh on the bottom lane. Got a good restart. Got through one or two nice. The 77 car-- he was coming off at 2 on the bottom, and I just seen him completely sideways in front of me. And just as quick as I seen him get sideways, that thing whipped back to the right. And I was like, oh god, this is going to be big.

COMMENTATOR 3: Erik Jones in the wall. He's up on his door. Daniel Suarez has [INAUDIBLE] a major crash as they spin towards turn three.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. I just yanked my car left and got away from him. It was nuts, man. I watched them all crash in my mirror. And it was like something at Talladega, so it was pretty wild.

CLAYTON HUGHES: Red flag's out.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. What a crazy day, man. We're going to win this son of a [BLEEP].

COLE PEARN: Damn right.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. I just felt it. could see the front, and I just felt that I was going to win that race.

COMMENTATOR 4: Fast battle on the race track is at the front of the field. Kyle Busch trying to hold off Martin Truex Jr.

COMMENTATOR 3: Martin Truex Jr. Has had a miserable afternoon and with all that, he's challenging for the lead again. He gets the run, and in turn number one, drives it deep to the bottom of the race track. Martin Truex Jr. back to the lead of the back straight away.

CLAYTON HUGHES: New leader, that's 78. Come on.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. Need to save?

COLE PEARN: No, we're not even close, so just run as hard as you can. We kind of opted to go all out. We were in the spot where we weren't going to make it on fuel. Our best bet was just get as big a gap as we could. Really we needed a yellow for it to work out, and we were fortunate enough to be able to get it.

CLAYTON HUGHES: I've got a car spinning off of 4. And the caution is out. Caution's out. Number 47 off of four.

COLE PEARN: We're going to free you up here a little bit more here is what we were thinking. Here we go. Four tires. Clean that right front up. All the way, all the way, all the way. You're good. You're good. Easy, easy, easy.

CLAYTON HUGHES: All on you, baby. You the man here.

COMMENTATOR 3: Upfront, Martin Truex and Kurt Busch. The green flag goes up in the air once again, and Truex breaks away like he typically does.

INTERVIEWER: At any point did you start thinking about Jim?

- I did towards the end for sure. I just thought about his family hopefully home watching the TV smiling and saying, this is Jim's team, and they're putting it all on the line for him.

COMMENTATOR 3: The march to Miami continues for Martin Truex Jr. Win number seven.

CLAYTON HUGHES: All right, my brother. Back-to-back in Kansas. This is for you, Jim. Love you, bud.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. Fight, fight, baby. Never give up. This one's for Jim looking out for us here. To have this this weekend, it just doesn't seem real. I'm just proud and lucky to be part of this race team. That confidence just keeps on building and building, and that makes it so much easier to get through those days that are tough. When you know you got the team to do it with, you know everybody's got your back, it feels pretty damn cool.

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