Monday, November 27, 2023

Martin Truex Jr. Muscles Past Joey Logano For First Win of 2021 in Phoenix

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 14: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Cup Series Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 14, 2021 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr. scored his first win of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season in Sunday’s Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Truex powered his way around Joey Logano on the final restart of the race on lap 287.

Truex, who led a total of 64 laps on the day, didn’t look back as he charged to the win by nearly 1.7-seconds over Team Penske’s No. 22 car.

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It was a rally of sorts for Truex, who slapped the wall in the opening Stage of the race. After repairs and tons of adjustments throughout the day, his car came to life at the perfect time.

“Just, you know, awesome job by everybody,” Truex said. “[Crew chief] James [Small], [Car chief] Blake [Harris] fixing it, all of the pit crew guys. I mean just really, really solid. I thought at the beginning of the race we were going to run 15th or so, and man, I just really can’t believe it. I’m kind of speechless.”

This marks the fifth different winner in five races to start the NCS season.

For Logano, it was another near miss. Logano, who led a race-high 143 laps, has been in contention for the win in the closing laps of three of the first five races of the season, but he has no victories to show for it.

For Logano, he was just shocked that Truex was able to make the move for the win in the opening moments of the final restart.

“I was surprised he was able to hang with me on that start,” Logano said. “I felt like he had a good start too, but I had a good one on the bottom, and I felt with the amount I shortcut it down the dog leg, I thought, ‘Boy, I’m gonna have him cleared,’ then we went into the corner and we were still door to door. When you’re door to door, the outside car has control of you.”

Logano conceded at the end of the day, Truex had the best car.

Denny Hamlin finished third in the No. 11 OfferPad Toyota Camry, while Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott finished in fourth and fifth.

Elliott had to rally from running around 20th at the mid-way point of the race for his top-five finish.

Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-10 finishers on Sunday.

Larson overcame starting in the rear for failing inspection multiple times, and then two pit road speeding penalties on the day to score a solid seventh-place finish.

For all of the race results, standings, news and more from Sunday’s race, check out our Race Information Page:

Engineer Davin Restivo Set to Serve as Crew Chief For Cole Custer at Phoenix After Mike Shiplett Suspension

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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