SPARTA, Ky. (AP) The Latest on the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway (all times local):
Martin Truex Jr. has won the first stage of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway.
Truex led twice for 51 laps, including the first 37 from the pole before pitting during the first cycle of stops along with much of the 39-car field. He regained the lead and won the stage. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Paul Menard rounded out the top five.
Nine drivers – including Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson – stayed out longer during the stage. Logano and Johnson had reason to improve track position after starting 19th and 27th, respectively.
Three-time Kentucky winner Brad Keselowski, who started fourth, was penalized for speeding on pit road. He started the second stage 18th after getting back on the lead lap.
Defending champion Martin Truex Jr. is on the pole and the green flag has dropped for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway.
The reigning series champion earned his first Kentucky pole in the No. 78 Camry and leads an all-Toyota front row. Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing is on the outside in the No. 20 for Saturday night’s 400-mile race. Jones is coming off his first career Cup win last week at Daytona.
Kevin Harvick and three-time Kentucky winner Brad Keselowski made up the second row in Fords. Keselowski aims to continue his pattern of winning in even-numbered years on the 1.5-mile track.
Points leader Kyle Busch, a two-time Kentucky champion, rounds out the top five in the No. 18 Toyota.
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