Martin Truex Jr. survives as playoff elimination race brings high drama to Kansas

Tod Palmer, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Auto Racing

Kansas favorite and Emporia, Kan., native Clint Bowyer also was involved in the wreck along with Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, AJ Allmendinger, Brett Moffitt, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman.

Jones, McMurray, Suarez, Patrick and Newman all were treated and released at the infield care center.

The wreck, which led to a 10-minute red flag as crews cleaned up debris on the track, was only the tip of the iceberg.

Trying to repair the extensive damage to the No. 20 DeWalt Toyota, Kenseth was disqualified for having seven crew members over the wall on pit road.

Under race conditions, the penalty for such an infraction sends the offending car to the back of the field, but a new NASCAR rule for 2017 institutes a 5-minute crash clock.

When a car is on the crash clock, violation of the seven-man rule results in immediate disqualification.

Kenseth, 45, who learned in July he wouldn't return to Joe Gibbs Racing, was running 15th and was in position to reach the round of eight, but his title hopes ended in that moment.

While safe in terms of advancing, even Truex dealt with his share of drama.


He led the first 35 laps, which allowed him to join the exclusive 2,000-lap club for a single season, but a restart violation sent him to the back of the field.

Another unscheduled pit stop early in stage two cycled Truex back in the field again, but he stalked his way back into contention with a smart pit strategy and the run of cautions put him in position to repeat as the winner at Kansas.

Truex claimed the checkered flag with a heavy heart after Furniture Row Racing road-crew fabricator Jim Watson died Saturday after suffering a heart attack during a go-kart outing with other crew members.

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