Truex wins with a heavy heart
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. didn’t feel a sense of urgency to win Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway because of its playoff implications, not with his spot in the next round safe following a victory at Charlotte.
No, the sense of urgency was much more personal.
Truex learned overnight that one of the Furniture Row Racing team’s crew members, Jim Watson, died of a heart attack while in town for the race. So with a heavy heart, Truex climbed into his No. 78 Toyota and overcame two early mistakes to win a wild playoff elimination race.
“We were racing for Jim today,” Truex said after emerging from his car. “He was a heck of a guy.”
Kurt Busch finished second before a wave of playoff contenders headed by Ryan Blaney, whose car failed post-qualifying inspection and was sent to the back.