Martin Truex Jr. looking to reverse Kansas karma in his 400th Sprint Cup start

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Martin Truex Jr. will make his 400th Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at Kansas Speedway, and he’s hoping it’s a story of redemption.

In May, Truex dominated the 1.5-mile oval by winning the pole and leading a race-high 172 laps. But after a Lap 210 pit stop, Truex reported a loose wheel and vibration, which ended up being the result of a broken bolt off the brake that had lodged behind the right front wheel. After making an unscheduled stop, Truex finished a disappointing 14th.

Since then, the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER Boats Toyota has led 1,224 laps and picked up four wins. Truex has also advanced to the second round of the Chase.

“That was just one more race at Kansas where we were dominant but didn’t close the deal,” Truex said in a team release about being winless at Kansas although he’s led 518 laps. “But right now I am happy we’re headed to Kansas, this is a race we feel we can run up front and possibly win. When we left Kansas in May, I said, ‘If we keep on bringing cars like we had tonight we’re going to win.’ Since Kansas we have done that, winning four times.

“I am hoping that my 400th Cup start will be much better than my first one. Can’t believe it’s gone by this fast but I am sure enjoying every race, especially this season. It’s been awesome to be part of a great race team.”

Truex’s 399 Cup starts have been nothing short of an adventure.

In his first Cup start at Atlanta in October of 2004, Truex finished 37th with Dale Earnhardt Inc. In 2006, he began his full-time Cup career with the organization and earned his first career win at Dover International Speedway in June 2007.

Truex moved to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2010 and spent four seasons there, picking up one win. His time there, however, will be remembered for the controversy at Richmond International Raceway surrounding his then teammate, Clint Bowyer. NASCAR deemed Bowyer and MWR manipulated the outcome of the race, which resulted in Truex qualifying for the Chase. When handing down penalties, Truex was removed from the Chase and later lost his sponsor, NAPA during the fallout.

The following year, Truex landed at Furniture Row Racing where he’s been ever since. Truex has picked up five wins with the team and made it all the way to the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season.

In Truex’s 399 starts he has seven wins (five with Furniture Row), 47 top fives, 132 top 10s, 10 poles, 4,051 laps led. Of those laps led, 2,162 have been accumulated since joining Furniture Row Racing.

“We have a great team,” Truex said. “I’m just honestly thankful that I am getting to show my talent, my capabilities behind the wheel and focus on continuing this roll that we’re on, and what it’s going to take to do that, so I don’t take it for granted. I know that in two weeks it could be gone. You just never know in this sport, that’s why I’m living in the moment and enjoying myself. I love working with my race team.”

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Kyle Larson fastest in final practice for Coca-Cola 600

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CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson topped the final practice session for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 with a speed at 186.400 mph.

The Cup points leader, Larson will start 39th in the race because his No. 42 Chevrolet didn’t clear inspection in time to qualify.

Ryan Blaney (185.861), Matt Kenseth (185.046), Kurt Busch (184.856) and Erik Jones (184.818) rounded out the top five.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh fastest at 184.433 mph. Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was 20th fastest at 182.648 mph.

Jimmie Johnson recorded the most laps in the session with 47.

Jamie McMurray had the best 10-lap average at 180.914 mph.

The session was stopped for a caution once after Brad Keselowski spun exiting Turn 4.

Click here for the full practice report.

Justin Allgaier wins pole for Charlotte Xfinity race

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CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier won the pole for the Xfinity Series’ Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

With a speed at 182.488 mph, Allgaier earned his fifth Xfinity pole and his first since the March 2013 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Allgaier is joined on the front row by Austin Dillon (181.519).

The top five was completed by Ryan Blaney (181.378), Daniel Hemric (181.324) and Kevin Harvick (181.245).

Christopher Bell will start seventh in his first Xfinity race.

Brad Keselowski and Dakoda Armstrong will start from the rear after not passing inspection in time to qualify.

Click here for full qualifying results.

Ryan Blaney leads second Coke 600 practice

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CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Blaney posted the top speed in the second practice session for the Coca-Cola 600.

Blaney’s No. 21 Ford produced a speed of 188.055 mph Saturday morning around Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The top five was filled out by Erik Jones (187.598 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (187.084), Daniel Suarez (186.838) and Trevor Bayne (186.239).

Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was ninth fastest at 185.567 mph. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 14th quickest at 185.141 mph.

Kyle Busch recorded the most laps in the session with 48.

Click here for the full practice report.

Eight teams lose 15 minutes of Coke 600 practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection

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CONCORD, N.C. — Eight Cup teams were held 15 minutes during Coca-Cola 600 practice today for failing pre-qualifying inspection on Thursday

Drivers include Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Corey LaJoie and Chris Buescher.

Buescher’s team also loses pit selection for Sunday’s race because it failed inspection three times.

Larson and LaJoie’s loss of practice time comes after neither qualified Thuraday because their cars didn’t clear inspection in time.