By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – The 2016 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was one for the record books. Martin Truex Jr. decimated the field as he led 392 laps, 588 miles after starting from the pole. With only four cautions, only three other competitors had the opportunity to take the lead. Jimmie Johnson led five laps, Paul Menard two laps, and Joey Logano one lap.
Truex’s performance in the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops /Tracker Boats / USO Toyota Camry shattered records set in 1967 by Jim Paschal in the World 600. Pascal’s record, 335 laps led, 502.5 miles in a single race, stood for nearly 50 years. Another rarity in NASCAR is a perfect driver rating of 150.0 in a race, which Truex earned through his domination in last year’s 600.
Truex is still amazed by the performance he and his Furniture Row Racing team had that day,
“I think it’s amazing to look at the numbers and see actually what we did there. Honestly, it’s more than that. It’s more of a once in the history of a sport. I mean, it’s incredible just to look at the numbers. Again, so many great drivers, so many dominant races throughout the history of NASCAR, throughout the history of the Cup Series. To be able in this day and age, with the competition level, to be able to lead that many miles, that many laps, is going to be something tough to replicate. Hopefully we can do it. It would be a great time. But it’s going to be tough, for sure, especially with stages and all that. It’s going to be interesting.”
Last year, there were no stages. This year, the Coca-Cola 600 will feature four stages with three opportunities for drivers to earn extra Championship and Playoff points.
Now Truex and his Furniture Row Racing team will look to attempt to come close to repeating last year’s performance in next weekend’s Coca-Cola 600.