Truex wins Stage 2 over hard-charging Keselowski at Michigan

Martin Truex Jr. picked up his 15th stage win of 2017 on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

Truex wins Stage 2 over hard-charging Keselowski at Michigan
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford

Truex led the last eight laps and held a 1.003-second lead over Keselowski at the end of the second segment of the Pure Michigan 400. Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin completed the top 10.

“We’ve have a real fast Furniture Row Toyota all day, just fough track position,” Truex said. “Still a long way to go.

After the caution flew for the end of the stage, the leaders pitted on Lap 64. Keselowski took two tires and lined up second behind Daniel Suarez, who did not pit between segments. Kyle Busch restarted 29th after pitting before pit road had opened.

The race returned to green on Lap 65. Keselowski shot out to the front and extended his lead over Suarez by .123-seconds after the first lap. Harvick was third on Lap 68 followed by Jones, Logano, Austin Dillon, Kenseth, Truex, Blaney, Elliott and Kahne.

Keselowski’s advantage was .399-seconds over Suarez by Lap 70. Harvick remained third, Jones, Logano, Dillon, Kenseth, Truex, Blaney, Elliott and Larson followed. After seven laps, Kyle Busch moved up to 25th.

Keselowski held a half-second lead over Suarez after 10 circuits. Harvick, Jones, Kenseth, Logano, Truex, Dillon, Blaney and Larson completed the top 10. Truex passed Logano for sixth and set his sights on Kenseth. Suarez moved to within two car lengths of Keselowski on Lap 82.

Kyle Busch moved up to the top 20 by Lap 83. He passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 19th on the next lap.

Keselowski had a half-second lead over Suarez on Lap 85. Truex wasn’t pleased with the lapped car of Derrick Cope. Jones passed Harvick for third. Kenseth was fifth followed by Truex, Logano, Blaney, McMurray and Larson.

Earnhardt pitted with handling issues after 88 laps. Kselowski’s lead over Suarez was .965 on Lap 90. Suarez pitted from second on the next lap. Jones moved to second followed by Harvick, Kesenth and Truex, Logano, Blaney, McMurray, Larson and Austin Dillon rounded out the top 10. Johnson, who started at the rear of the field, broke into the top 15.

“I don’t care, we have to go faster,” Chad Knaus told Johnson.

Keselowski’s lead over Jones was just under a second by Lap 100. Harvick ran third with Kenseth,Truex, Blaney, Logano, McMurray, Larson and Elliott rounding out the top 10.

Truex pitted from fifth on Lap 105, along with Trevor Bayne and Jimmie Johnson. Danica Patrick came on the next circuit with Jeffrey Earnhardt and Austin Dillon. McMurray and Blaney pitted on Lap 108 followed by Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne. Jones and Harvick came to the pits on Lap 109 with Harvick, Logano, Larson, Kenseth and Newman.

Kyle Busch took the lead after Keselowski pitted on Lap 110 with Chase Elliott. NASCAR nailed Kenseth for speeding — he served his penalty on lap 111. Busch pitted from the lead on Lap 113.

With six laps to determine the stage, Truex took the lead with a two-second advantage over Keselowski, Harvick, Jones, Suarez, Blaney, McMurray, Larson, Bowyer and Hamlin. Busch cycled out to 11th followed by Elliott, Logano, Johnson and Kurt Busch.

Kenseth, who was running in the top 10 all day, finished 21st at the end of the segment.

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