NASCAR Cup Kansas: Martin Truex Jr wins again, playoff places set

Furniture Row's playoff leader Martin Truex Jr claimed back-to-back wins at Kansas in 2017 at the end of the final race of the last eight, having already secured his passage

NASCAR Cup Kansas: Martin Truex Jr wins again, playoff places set

Truex started the race from pole position and led until lap 39 of 267 when he was given a penalty for changing lanes before the race restarted after its first caution - a competition caution due to overnight rain.

That put him down to 31st briefly but he recovered to finish the first stage eighth, before recovering the lead with just over 60 laps to go by passing Kyle Busch.

The victory comes one day after the team's road-crew fabricator James 'Jim' Watson passed away following a heart attack.

Kurt Busch recovered to second after an unscheduled early pitstop for right-side tyres after brushing the wall.

Ryan Blaney, who was demoted to 40th and last on the grid after failing inspection following qualifying, finished third after a stage one comeback.

The Penske driver moved up to 12th by half-distance and gained track position during the second caution period as one of six cars not to pit, restarting behind then-leader Brad Keselowski.

Chase Elliott was fourth above Denny Hamlin, who triumphed in stage two.

Chris Buescher finished sixth ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kevin Harvick.

Harvick finished both opening stages in the top three but fell away in the final stage, confirmed by a late caution for a spinning AJ Allmendinger on lap 236.

Aric Almirola was ninth on the track where he suffered a compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra in May that had caused him to miss seven races.

Kyle Busch finished 10th after winning stage one, but he pitted just three laps before the final caution and restarted in 22nd.

Jimmie Johnson moved into the last eight of the playoffs by finishing 11th above Paul Menard and Brad Keselowski.

The seven-time champion spun twice, causing two cautions during the race, but Johnson escaped with no major damage.

Kyle Larson fell from third in the points standings to ninth and elimination after an engine failure near the end of the first stage.

He pitted on lap 66 and returned to try and mount a recovery, but his engine could not go any further than lap 77.

Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray were also both eliminated after being involved in a multi-car collision when Erik Jones hit the wall on lap 198.

McMurray retired instantly but Kenseth looked set to continue until he was removed from the race for having seven team members service his car instead of the legislated six.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr was classified 29th and was the fourth driver who failed to make it to the next stage of the playoffs.

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