Larson is third in the standings (Kyle Busch is second), but he and Truex are both two of the favorites to make it to the season finale at Homestead in November.
Busch was not the only driver who received medical attention for dehydration post-race. Harvick retook the lead on the next restart on lap 121 and ran up front for the remainder of the second stage. "Just thankful to him and this whole team and Barney (owner) and everybody for giving us everything we need".
That meant Cole Pearn, Truex's crew chief, and the rest of the crew got three bonus laps - not that they had much choice - to wait for Truex to finish. "Even the year before '15 I thought we were pretty good and sitting pretty good in the playoff standings". You just never know. You can see the full starting grid for the race right here. The 19-year-old driver has three wins in his rookie year in the Xfinity Series.
He won the Coca-Cola 600 last season at the track and came third at this year's iteration, building something of a reputation here. He ran second for most of the first half of the opening stage, first trailing pole sitter Denny Hamlin until a competition caution on lap 35, and then Chase Elliott after Elliott took the lead from Hamlin on the restart. Last year: Jimmie Johnson won on his way to a series championship.
The emotion also shows the pressure drivers feel in this elimination playoff format. He choked back tears in victory lane in part because partner Sherry Pollex, who is battling ovarian cancer, was not at the track.
So she stayed home and watched on television, posting a photo of herself following the victory. "I think they had this vehicle up on the plate on Wednesday or Tuesday with the nose cut off trying to make it better".
Stage 2: Harvick swept the stages on Sunday, leading for nearly the entire second stage. Busch later was taken by ambulance to the infield care center. I'm going to go minor upset and pick the No. 11 Toyota to earn its first ever victory at Charlotte.
The "haves" and "have nots" are largely jumbled together as NASCAR's 10-race championship playoff series moves to its most unpredictable speedway next weekend.
Truex dominated the final 100 laps of the race, and was named its victor when the last caution flag was raised during lap 334.
Sure, other teams like Hendrick Motorsports flexed their muscle during the first round. He was running 23rd.
The metal display board that flashes the number for the black flag fell off the flag stand bringing out a caution with 58 laps remaining.
Busch weathered two accidents, a spin and a sweltering auto to finish the playoff race 29th, a minor victory considering what a hard day it had been Sunday. CMS remains the only active track where Busch has not won.
Chase Elliott finished second for the second consecutive week and sixth time in his career. Four drivers (Newman, Dillon, Kahne, Kurt Busch) were eliminated as we enter the round of 12 that starts this week at a familiar track, Charlotte Motor Speedway. Truex led second-place Larson at that point. But a combination of mistake-free stops and the first pit stall gave him an edge. "After today leading all the laps that we did and doing all the things that we did, I feel like we can run with anybody", Harvick said. He returned to the track four laps behind the leaders.