Martin Truex Jr. wins NASCAR Cup race at Phoenix Raceway

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Martin Truex Jr. celebrates in Victory Lane after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix Raceway, Sunday, March 14, 2021, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Joey Logano has won a few times at Phoenix Raceway and knows a good restart when he feels one. With 25 laps to go Sunday, he got a good run on the green flag, dipped down low on the dogleg and felt great.

Then he realized Martin Truex Jr's No. 19 Toyota was still right next to him. That was a big problem.

Truex blew past Logano on the final restart and pulled away for his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season and 28th overall. That set off a hearty celebration from the his Joe Gibbs Racing team, especially after a frustrating 2020 season that included just one win.

“I'd say we were really hungry for it,” Truex said. “We really wanted it, obviously. We worked really hard, we've got a great team and it just seemed like for whatever reason, it was always little things biting us. We were always so close, always second or third.”

This time he was first. By a lot.

Truex beat the four championship finalists from last year. He had failed to advance into the season-ending finale for the first time in four years and could only watch as Chase Elliott beat Logano, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski for the title at the desert oval. All four tailed Truex across the finish line Sunday.

Phoenix Raceway will again host the championship race in November.

“To come here and win this, I wish it was November," Truex said. “Hopefully, we can come back in November and have a shot at the championship.”