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July 30, 2016

Truex Jr. seeks more magic with dominant 600 car

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LONG POND, Pa. — Is it or isn’t it? Martin Truex Jr. couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say for certain on Friday.

The Furniture Row Racing driver won the Coors Light Pole Award for Monday’s Pennsylvania 400 (11 a.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race with a dominant performance through all three rounds of qualifying.

But was it the same No. 78 Toyota that Truex used to crush the competition earlier this year in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway?

“Somebody mentioned that it was after qualifying so I think it is,” Truex said during his post-qualifying press conference. “I don’t think we’ve run it anywhere else.”

Truex led a race-record 392 of 400 laps at Charlotte to earn his first win of the season and the fourth of his career in the series — and, in fact, a representative for Furniture Row confirmed the car this weekend was the same machine from the Coca-Cola 600.

“These cars these days, I don’t think it really matters honestly,” Truex Jr. said. “They’re built identical to each other. I can get in five different race cars in five weeks and not tell you which one was which. So yeah it is and maybe it has a little magic in it. We’ll find out come Sunday* I suppose, if we can lead almost every lap. We’ll see what happens.”

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Truex was second in Friday’s opening round of qualifying, first in the second round and then first again in the final round. His final-round lap of 179.244 mph put him solidly atop the scoring pylon.

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards will start second, thanks to a final-round lap of 178.873 mph.

“My lap was awesome; Martin’s lap was spectacular,” Edwards said. “Congrats to them. … That must have felt really good because mine was great.

“The last two weeks, Indy and here, I was pretty proud of my lap. They just got us.”

*The race was originally scheduled for Sunday (July 31) but was postponed due to weather and will be held Monday.