WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WGI) -
Martin Truex Jr.'s patience paid off in the I Love New York 355 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday afternoon.
Truex saved just enough fuel to hold off a hard-charging Matt Kenseth and claim his first-ever Watkins Glen victory in front of a sold-out crowd.
“I’ve wanted to win here a long, long time, this is a special place,” Truex said. “This is just an awesome racetrack. You want to win at road courses and now we have a win at both of them.”
The New Jersey native considers Watkins Glen one of his home tracks and it’s a place where he spent plenty of time growing up around racing.
“I started coming here before I was driving anything but go-karts,” Truex said. “Watching my dad race here a couple of times, coming here as a kid running through the garage, learning about race cars, and racing here in the Busch North Series myself before I got my big break – it definitely feels special to finally get a win here.”
Truex let Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney by late in the race, feeling neither driver would be able to make the full distance on fuel. His gamble paid off as Keselowski relinquished the lead to pit with three laps to go and Blaney did the same a lap later. Kenseth had pit more recently than Truex, and was able to run full bore, but couldn’t close the gap in time.
Truex was second in both early-race stages. Kyle Busch started from the pole and led every lap of Stage One while Daniel Suarez took the green-and-white checkered flag – the first of his career – in Stage Two. Suarez came home in third and Busch was seventh, working his way through the pack twice; once after a tire changing issue and again following a spin in the Bus Stop.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final trip to The Glen as a driver didn’t go as he had hoped as he was forced to retire early following a mechanical failure.
A Cato man is facing 57 years to life in prison after a jury found…