The 78 team set out to gain as much of an advantage as they could coming to the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
"It was definitely a bittersweet night for us, to come up just two laps short there", Truex said.
With the stage victories, Truex tallied 20 regular-season points, the exact number he needed to clinch the regular-season bonus of 15 playoff points with one race remaining in the regular season.
Pole sitter Kevin Harvick (4) looked to be the dominate vehicle early.
Unfortunately for Truex, Denny Hamlin spoiled the party. Followed by Truex and Hamlin. Truex pushed Larson out front to the lead and he continued to be in front until the final feet of the first stage.
It didn't take Truex Jr., who leads the Cups Series with four wins (in Las Vegas, Kansas, Kentucky and Watkins Glen), long to show the dominance he has all season - in fact, it took him exactly 100 laps.More news: Osweiler returning to Broncos
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"To lock up the regular season points is a huge accomplishment, especially in just two year together as a team". Here is the math.
Truex is completing a dominant regular season and is now extremely well positioned for the playoffs. The best and brightest in NASCAR competed on the track that has been dubbed "Too Tough To Tame". That forced him to jam on the brakes, skirt past the inside wall, get back up to speed and take an additional lap around Darlington before pitting successfully. Petty, driving his original Petty Blue Plymouth, seemed to enjoy the opportunity to lead as well. Larson led for about half the time, but when the caution came out in the 198th lap, of course Truex Jr. was in the lead.
For most of the first stage, the New Jersey native hung around the front of the pack, always within striking distance of then-leaders Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick. A timid approach can cost a driver significant track position.
Hamlin checked up after sliding by the entrance with 54 laps remaining and fell behind Truex by 20 seconds. "But catching somebody and passing him is a whole different deal here, and I was really holding my own pretty well if I could get some clean air, and every time I'd catch a lap auto they'd just drive off in the corner, slide up in front of me and then I was just so loose on those old tires around other cars that there wasn't much I could do to keep my pace, my momentum". Truex reclaimed the lead several laps later after Larson had run his laps-led tally up to 124 laps. Kurt Busch was the only Fusion to finish in the top 5. "We passed the leader three or four different times and, you know, we got off on pit sequence and we were like fourth or fifth and every single restart the last four or five restarts of the race I think we got the bottom lane and every time we'd lose two or three spots and you're - it absolutely takes you out of the shot to win, you know?"
Hamlin celebrated in Victory Lane with his family and friends, many with ties to the throwback paint scheme that paid tribute to his idols at Southside Speedway in Virginia.
Clint Bowyer (14), in 17th and the first man out, is not mathematically eliminated. The race's final 167 laps made up the final stage. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.