Brad Keselowski was the highest finishing Ford driver at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday, finishing fifth in the Coca Cola 600. Toyota’s Martin Truex Jr., meanwhile, lead 392 of 400 laps to post a record-setting victory in NASCAR’s longest race of the year.
Truex sat out front in the No. 78 Toyota for 588 of the race’s 600 miles – a NASCAR record. Jimmie Johnson led the second most amount of laps with five, but didn’t have the pace to hang with Truex as the night wore on. Kevin Harvick was similarly as competitive as Johnson, but dealt with a tight handling car in the closing laps and lost pace.
While Harvick and Johnson both ran strong races, the Chevy drivers acknowledged Truex as the class of the field.
“Well, I saw him for about 50 miles or 75 miles,” Harvick told NASCAR.com. “The rest of the night I never saw him. I was back there swatting flies in the middle of the pack. I didn’t have a lot of time to see the 78.”
“I kind of felt like he was playing with us,” Johnson added. “He was so fast. I would flatfoot (Turns) 1 and 2, and have a nose on him, and he would drive right back by me into Turn 3. It was so fast. It was very impressive.”
Keselowski ran an error-free race and was fast all night, but didn’t have the pace to hang with Truex and turned up fifth. His Team Penske teammate Joey Logano, meanwhile, started from second Sunday but lost grid position after receiving a penalty for a pit error. He rallied in the closing 100 laps to finish ninth.