By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
The second Stage of the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway played out the exact same way that Stage 1 did. A late caution gave the field an opportunity to hit pit road for fuel and tires, and just like with Stage 1 two competitors stayed on track to gamble for championship points.
This time the drivers who stayed out were seven-time Series champion Jimmie Johnson and 2004 Series champ Kurt Busch.
Just like in Segment 1 tires were proven to be of the utmost value. Coming off of turn two the field hung Johnson and Busch out to dry, and Martin Truex Jr. led the charge by the two sluggish race cars to take the win in Stage 2.
Truex will add another Playoff point to his total, which will carry through every round of the playoffs later this year. He will also receive 10 regular season championship points for the win in Stage 2.
Other drivers who received points in Stage 2 included: Brad Keselowski (9), Kyle Larson (8), Chase Elliott (7), Joey Logano (6), Ryan Blaney (5), Dale Earnhardt Jr., (4), Jamie McMurray (3), Ryan Newman (2), and Jimmie Johnson (1).
Kurt Busch’s gamble ended with a 17th place finish in the stage.
Kyle Busch was busted for speeding on pit road during this stage. The penalty put him a lap down, but a spin by Derrike Cope with nine laps left in the segment benefitted Busch as he was the first car a lap down at the time.
Busch charged at the end of Stage 2, and was 18th — one spot behind his brother — at the conclusion of the Stage.
107 laps now remain in the battle for the win of the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas. But Martin Truex Jr. has the chance to be the first driver in the Stage racing era of the Cup Series to sweep an entire race.