Defending Champ, Martin Truex Jr. Wins First Race of Season in Auto Club 400 in California

By  //  March 19, 2018

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leD 125 of 200 laps from the pole, margin of victory was 11-seconds over second place Kyle Larson

ABOVE VIDEO: Relive the Auto Club 400 highlights as Martin Truex Jr. battles Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch for the victory. (Video by NASCAR.com) 

FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – Martin Truex Jr. drove three things Sunday afternoon at Auto Club Speedway.

First, he drove the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota to a dominating victory in the Auto Club 400, the fifth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season.

Second, he drove a time machine, turning back the clock to 2017 when his mastery of stage racing propelled him to his first series championship.

Truex’s effort in Sunday’s race was every bit as overwhelming as his most convincing triumphs of last season. He started from the pole, then swept the first two stages and the victory, leading 125 of 200 laps and beating runner-up Kyle Larson to the finish line by a whopping 11.685 seconds.

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