Truex Sets Record-Breaking Pace in Fastest-Ever Coca-Cola 600
Martin Truex Jr. blazed a historic trail in a record-breaking Coca-Cola 600 performance that saw Truex win the fastest Coca-Cola 600 in the illustrious 57-year history of Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Truex, who also won the pole in Thursday's LiftMaster Pole Night, fought off challenges from runner-up Kevin Harvick and third-place finisher Jimmie Johnson - both of whom gave chase throughout the event - but Truex was much too strong. The Mayetta, New Jersey, driver set multiple speedway and national milestones in his run to victory: He led a track-record 392 of 400 laps and 588 miles, more than any driver in NASCAR history, and completed the event in three hours, 44 minutes and eight seconds at an average speed of 160.644 mph - both Charlotte Motor Speedway records.
Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski completed the top five on a historic night that capped off Memorial Day weekend.
Coca-Cola 600 Winner - Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota): "It's just kind of sinking in now. We won the 600. Just really proud of my team. Everybody believed in me and made the opportunity possible. My guys are something special. I've got to thank them; it was a big day. We got the troops on the car. It's a special weekend. Not really sure it's sunk in yet. It's a weekend you dream about. I've had confidence, confidence in my team. There are a lot of great people behind me. Sherry (girlfriend Sherry Pollex) gives me a lot of inspiration. We keep fighting and never give up. We never quit. I'm just proud of my guys for sticking behind me. They did a great job tonight. Thank you all for all the fans that have stuck by us the last couple of years. I really appreciate that. I had a lot of fun racing tonight."
Coca-Cola 600 Runner-Up - Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John's Chevrolet): "We struggled the first 450 miles, but they kept swinging on it. We finally found some tire pressures that were better. At the beginning of the race we were having a problem getting into the corner. Toward the end we got the race car a lot better and I could really start driving like I needed to keep up. I think we would have been better off if we could have just kept running and the caution came out. Once (Truex) got back out front, we weren't able to make up any ground."
Coca-Cola 600 Third-Place Finisher - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet): "(Truex) was so fast. I would flat-foot it through one and two and have a nose on him. He would drive back by me in three, he was so fast. I'm happy for Martin. He and his guys have worked really hard for that. But I'm really proud of this Lowe's team. It was a very solid weekend from qualifying to the race."
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