Martin Truex Jr. drove to a dominant win under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday, leading 392 of 400 laps to win the Coca Cola 600. Starting from pole, Truex led 588 of 600 miles, the longest a single driver has spent leading a race in NASCAR history.
The win was Truex’s first of the season, and judging by the way he drove, likely not his last. He finishes 2.572 seconds clear of Team Chevy’s Kevin Harvick, who was competitive all day but dealt with a tight handling car late in the race. Jimmie Johnson was third but at one point challenged for the lead, running first for five laps before Truex took back the reigns.
Both Johnson and Harvick admitted they were outclassed by Truex Sunday, who enjoyed a perfect driver rating of 150 – his first ever.
“Well, I saw him for about 50 miles or 75 miles,” Harvick told NASCAR.com. “The rest of the night I never saw him. I was back there swatting flies in the middle of the pack. I didn’t have a lot of time to see the 78.”
“I kind of felt like he was playing with us,” Johnson added. “He was so fast. I would flatfoot (Turns) 1 and 2, and have a nose on him, and he would drive right back by me into Turn 3. It was so fast. It was very impressive. I’m happy for Martin. That team and those guys worked awfully hard to get where they’re at.”
Denny Hamlin finished fourth behind Johnson, while Brad Keselowski closed out the top five. Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott and Ryan Newman were the only remaining Chevys in the top ten, finishing sixth, eighth and tenth, respectively. Click here for full results from Charlotte and here for a schedule of next weekend’s NASCAR festivities at Pocono.