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NASCAR Recap - MENCS at Chicago

- Martin Truex Jr.: career-high 5th win of season
- Truex Jr.: wins playoff opener for 2nd straight season; advances to Round of 12 regardless of results in next 2 races (was eliminated in Round of 12 last season)
- Truex Jr.: 3rd career playoff win (1st 2 came last season)
- Truex Jr.: won by 7.179 sec; largest margin of victory in 16 Cup races at Chicago and largest margin of victory in a Cup race this season
- Chase Elliott: finished 2nd; 4th career 2nd-place finish (no wins)
- Jimmie Johnson: finished 8th on 42nd birthday
- Kevin Harvick: finished 3rd; opened playoff finishing 20th last year and 42nd in 2015
- Denny Hamlin: finished 4th; 4th straight top-5 finish (matches longest streak of career, also 4 straight in March-April 2008)
- Kyle Larson: finished 5th; 3rd top-5 in last 5 races (finished 23rd or worse in 5 of previous 7 races)
- Kyle Busch: finished 15th after leading 85 laps, fell to 5th in playoff standings

Won Playoff Opener - Since Race Moved to Chicago in 2011
Points Finish
2017 Martin Truex Jr. ?
2016 Martin Truex Jr. 11th
2015 Denny Hamlin 9th
2014 Brad Keselowski 5th
2013 Matt Kenseth 2nd
2012 Brad Keselowski 1st
2011 Tony Stewart 1st

Drivers to Win Playoff Opener - Since Playoffs Began Elimination Format
Eliminated In
2017 Martin Truex Jr. ?
2016 Martin Truex Jr. Round of 12
2015 Denny Hamlin Round of 12
2014 Brad Keselowski Round of 8
>>Final round consists of 4 drivers

Martin Truex Jr. - NASCAR Cup Series Career
1st 381 Starts Last 51 Starts
Wins 3 9
Win pct 0.8 17.6
Top 5 pct 10.8 35.3
Laps led per race 7.5 61.1

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings - 2 Races Left in Round of 16
To Cutoff
1. Martin Truex Jr. Clinched
2. Kyle Larson +49
3. Kevin Harvick +41
4. Brad Keselowski +35
5. Kyle Busch +35
6. Chase Elliott +33
7. Denny Hamlin +32
8. Jimmie Johnson +20
9. Matt Kenseth +13
10. Ryan Blaney +8
11. Jamie McMurray +5
12. Austin Dillon 0
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13. Kurt Busch 0
14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -4
15. Kasey Kahne -5
16. Ryan Newman -7

--- NASCAR Recap From ESPN Research ---