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NASCAR Kentucky: Martin Truex Jr dominates to take victory

Bethonie Waring
Truex dominates for Kentucky win

Reigning NASCAR Cup series champion and Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr dominated at Kentucky for his fourth win of the 2018 season.

Truex is one of three drivers to have won at least four races this year, with 2018 largely fought between himself, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick.

But Truex had little competition at Kentucky, leading 174 of the 267 laps on offer.

However, Truex did have to work his way back to the front of the field after winning stage two when Brad Keselowski cycled to the front after taking just two tyres on his stop.

Truex's charge to the front became more complicated when Chip Ganassi Racing's Kyle Larson surged from the leading pack to pass the Furniture Row driver five laps later and demoted Truex to third.

But 10 laps later, Larson developed problems with his track bar after handling woes gave Truex second back.

Now in clear air, Truex rapidly reeled in Keselowski and moved to the front on lap 201 after the Penske driver lost time in traffic.

There was a final curveball when a caution arrived six laps later, with Stewart-Haas Racing's Kurt Busch - yet to win a race this season - jumping Truex in the stops by taking just two tyres.

Truex dispatched Busch after a restart to lead the field to victory, with Penske's Ryan Blaney beating the SHR driver for second.

Keselowski made moves to climb back up to third, having fallen away after the final caution.

Championship leader Kyle Busch was fourth having had to recover from contact with Clint Bowyer late in the race.

Kevin Harvick enjoyed a strong start to the race, finishing the first stage second, albeit two seconds behind Truex.

But the SHR driver dropped down to fourth in the second stage and lost more positions in the final part of the race.

Harvick finished fifth, just ahead of Kurt Busch.

Erik Jones reported engine problems early in the race but managed to hold onto a top 10 position, finishing seventh ahead of Aric Almirola.

Larson's track bar problems had forced him into the pits during the late caution period and forced him down to 23rd place.

Larson then made a remarkable climb through the order to finish ninth, just ahead of Joey Logano.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car
1 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota
2 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford
3 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
4 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
5 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
6 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
7 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
8 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
9 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
10 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
11 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford
12 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
13 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
14 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
15 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
16 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
17 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
18 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford
19 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford
20 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
21 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
22 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
23 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
24 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford
25 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet
26 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
27 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet
28 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet
29 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet
30 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
31 Corey LaJoie TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet
32 B.J. McLeod Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
33 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet
34 Timmy Hill MBM Motorsports Toyota
35 Jesse Little Premium Motorsports Chevrolet
36 Garrett Smithley StarCom Racing Chevrolet
37 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford
38 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota
39 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet