The winner of Sunday NASCAR Cup Series Race accomplished a pair of firsts.
Martin Truex Jr. overcame wall contact early in the race and took the lead in the final restart with 25 laps to go for his first victory of 2021 and the first in 31 career starts at Phoenix Raceway.
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Truex’s # 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota finally stood up to Joey Logano’s # 22 Ford Penske Racing by a convincing 1.698 seconds for victory in the Instacart 500. The 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion took the lead out of the race on a daring restart and pulled away in the closing laps of a lively race that featured 22 lead changes.
More information on Truex’s victory can be found below, as well as the full results of Sunday’s race.
Who won the NASCAR race yesterday?
Martin Truex Jr. became the fifth winner in as many NASCAR Cup Series races this season, joining Michael McDowell, Christopher Bell, William Byron and Kyle Larson. Their victories have earned them playoff spots.
“I wish it was November and I was in the Final Four,” said Truex, referring to the season championship final in Phoenix later in the year.
Logano led a race record 143 of 312 laps and won Stage 2, his first stage victory of the year. His Penske Racing teammate Ryan Blaney won Stage 1 (also his first stage victory in 2021) and all three Penske Racing cars finished in the top 10. In total, the Penske trio of Logano, Blaney and Brad Keselowski led 197 laps – 63 percent of the day.
Phoenix NASCAR Results
Truex’s JGR teammate Denny Hamlin was third, followed by Keselowski. Phoenix winner last November, Chase Elliott, was fifth.
Nine-time Phoenix winner Kevin Harvick was sixth, his fourth top 10 in the first five races of the season. Larson, winner of Las Vegas last week, was seventh and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Byron eighth, followed by Bell and Blaney to complete the top 10.
Hamlin, Keselowski and Logano – all still chasing their first wins in 2021 – are 1-2-3 in the championship standings, with Hamlin holding a 39 point advantage over Keselowski as the series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor next weekend. QuikTrip 500 (3 p.m. ET Sunday; Fox, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
NASCAR results in Phoenix
|1||Martin Truex Jr.|
|12||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|21||Daniel Suarez placeholder image|
Holly Cain writes for the NASCAR Wire Service.