NASCAR America: Martin Truex Jr.’s win at Kentucky was a triumph of old tires over new

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There was a reason Martin Truex Jr. “thought we were dead” before the overtime finish at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday.

Truex’s No. 78 Toyota was rolling on four old tires after not pitting. The two cars behind him, Kyle Busch and Erik Jones, had taken two tires each in the pits. Then Kyle Larson in fourth and the rest of the leaders had taken four.

But it was those four old tires that got to perform the victory burnout before rolling into victory lane.

NASCAR America’s analysts discussed the pit strategy that earned Truex his third win of the year.

“Let’s just talk about how great the 78 was, all those tires meant nothing because Martin Truex Jr. did such a great job on the restart,” Jeff Burton said.

Said Steve Letarte, “You can talk about all the pit strategies, but sometimes you make the wrong call, but the right car overcomes it.”

Slugger Labbe was confused as to why crew chief Adam Stevens decided to put left-side tires on Kyle Busch’s car instead of right-side tires.

“That’s a call we never really see in our sport, left-side tires,” Labbe said. “Adam Stevens and the tire changer, they knew they had lug nut missing from the right-rear tire and yet they still decided to get left-sides only and face a potential penalty from NASCAR of $10,000. That whole decision to get left-side tires was weird to me. … You see it at Daytona and Talladega where tires are extremely hard.”

The loose lug nut came in Stevens’ first race back from a four-race suspension for a left-rear tire coming off Busch’s car at Dover.

“It just makes you wonder if NASCAR needs to ramp up the penalties for the more penalties you have as a team,” Labbe said. “$10,000 just isn’t getting the job done to me.”

Watch the video for the full discussion on pit strategy.

NASCAR America: Looking back at Cup winners this year (video)

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The NASCAR Cup Series is through 19 racers. There are 17 more races to be contested, including seven before the Cup playoffs.

It’s been a rough time for many and a successful time for a select few.

There’s still plenty of racing to go. Who will see their name added to the list of winners in 2017 and, more importantly, who still wins a race to make it in the playoffs?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Can Team Penske get back on track in Indianapolis? (video)

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Roger Penske is used to winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He owns a record 16 Indy 500 victories there.

But Penske still has yet to win a Brickyard 400 at IMS. While in other years, Team Penske’s chances may have been stronger, coming into the 2017 Brickyard 400 is a whole other ballgame.

Joey Logano has struggled terribly in the last 10 races. Since winning at Richmond (which was eventually encumbered due to a post-race inspection penalty), Logano has had seven finishes of 21st through 37th. He’s also dropped from fifth to 13th in the standings.

Teammate Brad Keselowski has had his own struggles, dropping from third to eighth in the standings.

The biggest problem that seems to be impacting Team Penske is a lack of speed, more so on Logano’s car, but an issue nonetheless for both cars.

Can Team Penske snap out of its funk and find the speed it’s been missing Sunday, and potentially give Captain Penske his first NASCAR Cup win at the track that means so much to him?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch needs to be aware of Martin Truex Jr. at Brickyard (video)

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Kyle Busch is well aware of his wins drought, not having won in his last 36 Cup starts.

But he also gains confidence and optimism from having won the last two Brickyard 400s.

So how will that impact the weekend?

On Friday’s NASCAR America, Dale Jarrett said Indy “plays into Busch’s hand,” but also to look out for Martin Truex Jr.

Check out the video above.

 

 

NASCAR America: Significance of winning at Indianapolis (video)

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On Friday’s edition of NASCAR America, two-time Brickyard 400 winner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Brickyard-winning crew chief Slugger Labbe, who led Paul Menard to a Brickyard 400 win, both discussed the importance of winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — as well as how to do it.

Check out the video above.