NASCAR Cup Series results and 3 takeaways from Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway – Charlotte Observer

Martin Truex Jr. may have won the first race of the NASCAR playoffs at Chicagoland on Sunday, but there are other implications from the results, too. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday’s race:

1. Truex still the man to beat

Truex struggled at the start, as a pit road penalty meant he finished Stage 1 in 10th place. But as has been the case all season, Truex Jr. was just simply too fast to not make a comeback. He ended up leading for 77 laps, and the five playoff points he gets for winning only extends his already impressive lead. At this point, it would take a catastrophe for him not to make it all the way to the finale at Homestead.

2. Chase Elliott surges in standings

This is only Elliott’s second season in the playoffs, and he’s already proving himself to be a legitimate contender. He overtook Kevin Harvick out of a pit stop late in Stage 2 to win the stage, and he maintained that excellence for the rest of the race. Although he finished as the runner-up to Truex Jr., the playoff point Elliott earned for his stage win will come back to help him later in the playoffs. He’s up to sixth in the standings now.

3. Who is in trouble?

For every driver who did well at Chicago, there’s a counterpart who didn’t finish as well as they would have hoped. Two of those who struggled were Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Newman finished 23rd and Stenhouse finished 25th, meaning they both slipped in the standings, too. Stenhouse fell to 14th and Newman fell to 16th, meaning both are in danger of missing the cut in two weeks at Dover. Both drivers have won races so far this season though, so there’s still hope they can advance.

Tales of the Turtles 400

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

Sunday

At Chicagoland Speedway

Joliet, Ill.

Lap length: 1.50 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (3) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 267 laps, 0 rating, 49 points.

2. (8) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 267, 0, 53.

3. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267, 0, 52.

4. (2) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267, 0, 45.

5. (6) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267, 0, 42.

6. (5) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267, 0, 42.

7. (7) Joey Logano, Ford, 267, 0, 40.

8. (14) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 267, 0, 29.

9. (10) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 267, 0, 34.

10. (19) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 267, 0, 28.

11. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 267, 0, 26.

12. (13) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 267, 0, 27.

13. (11) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 266, 0, 24.

14. (28) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 266, 0, 23.

15. (1) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 266, 0, 32.

16. (9) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 266, 0, 21.

17. (20) Dale Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet, 266, 0, 20.

18. (22) Danica Patrick, Ford, 265, 0, 19.

19. (17) Kurt Busch, Ford, 265, 0, 21.

20. (27) Landon Cassill, Ford, 265, 0, 17.

21. (25) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 264, 0, 16.

22. (26) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 264, 0, 15.

23. (16) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 264, 0, 14.

24. (21) Aric Almirola, Ford, 264, 0, 13.

25. (15) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 263, 0, 12.

26. (29) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 263, 0, 11.

27. (18) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 263, 0, 10.

28. (23) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 262, 0, 9.

29. (31) David Ragan, Ford, 262, 0, 8.

30. (30) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 262, 0, 7.

31. (32) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 261, 0, 6.

32. (34) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 259, 0, 5.

33. (24) Erik Jones, Toyota, 259, 0, 4.

34. (37) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 258, 0, 3.

35. (35) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 257, 0, 2.

36. (33) Corey Lajoie, Toyota, 256, 0, 1.

37. (40) Brett Moffitt, Toyota, 255, 0, 0.

38. (36) Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 254, 0, 1.

39. (38) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, 254, 0, 0.

40. (39) Ray Black Jr, Chevrolet, 251, 0, 0.

NASCAR Chicagoland Auto Racing

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 145.403 mph.

Time of Race: 2 hours, 45 minutes, 16 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 7.179 seconds.

Caution Flags: 4 for 21 laps.

Lead Changes: 12 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders: Ky.Busch 1-44; L.Cassill 45-46; Ky.Busch 47-87; K.Harvick 88-122; B.Keselowski 123; D.Hamlin 124; C.Elliott 125-162; K.Harvick 163; C.Elliott 164-167; K.Harvick 168-189; M.Truex 190-211; K.Harvick 212; M.Truex 213-267

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): Ky.Busch, 2 times for 83 laps; M.Truex, 2 times for 75 laps; K.Harvick, 4 times for 55 laps; C.Elliott, 2 times for 40 laps; L.Cassill, 1 time for 1 lap; D.Hamlin, 1 time for 0 laps; B.Keselowski, 1 time for 0 laps.

Wins: M.Truex, 5; K.Larson, 4; J.Johnson, 3; Ky.Busch, 2; D.Hamlin, 2; B.Keselowski, 2; R.Stenhouse, 2; R.Blaney, 1; Ku.Busch, 1; A.Dillon, 1; K.Harvick, 1; K.Kahne, 1; J.Logano, 1; R.Newman, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. M.Truex, 2102; 2. K.Larson, 2075; 3. K.Harvick, 2067; 4. Ky.Busch, 2062; 5. B.Keselowski, 2061; 6. C.Elliott, 2060; 7. D.Hamlin, 2058; 8. J.Johnson, 2046; 9. M.Kenseth, 2039; 10. R.Blaney, 2034; 11. J.McMurray, 2031; 12. Ku.Busch, 2026; 13. A.Dillon, 2026; 14. R.Stenhouse, 2022; 15. K.Kahne, 2021; 16. R.Newman, 2019.

NASCAR Driver Rating Formula

A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.

The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.

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