NASCAR Cup Las Vegas: Truex wins after late problem for Keselowski
|Sunday, March 12th 2017, 23:28 GMT|
Martin Truex Jr won the NASCAR Cup race at Las Vegas, inheriting victory after polesitter Brad Keselowski slowed with two laps to go with a reported engine problem.
Truex dominated a large part of the 267-lap event, winning the first two stages of the race, but had to rely on Keselowski's late dramas to secure the win.
Keselowski led the first 75 laps of the race before Truex took the lead and stormed away just before the first points-paying stage ended.
The Furniture Row Racing driver maintained that advantage in a trouble-free second stage of the race, and looked likely to enjoy a clean run to the flag.
But Keselowski gradually reeled Truex in during the final stage and took the lead with 24 laps to go, as Truex complained of a lack of left-hand grip.
Penske driver Keselowski dealt well with a late-race restart and built a margin over Truex in the final nine laps, but slowed on the penultimate lap - instead allowing Truex to claim a first victory for a Toyota in 2017.
Kyle Larson wound up second after a late charge, finishing ahead of Chase Elliott and Joey Logano, with a frustrated Keselowski ending up fifth.
Kyle Busch had been in contetion with the pack behind Truex, but as they caught Keselowski the 2015 champion made contact with Logano, forcing Busch to spin out into the pitlane.
Busch was eventually classified in 22nd, and was later involved in an altercation with Logano in the pitlane after the race.
Kevin Harvick, who had led the points before the Las Vegas visit, suffered a right-front tyre failure on lap 68 and hit the wall hard at Turn 1.