This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Martin Truex Jr. overcame a failed tire, contact with the wall and 600 arduous miles to claim his third victory of the season and third at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. It was a difficult race that produced many failed front tires, and drivers and teams struggled to find the right mix of balance to maintain pace. Brad Keselowski opened proceedings with the fastest machine, only to trail off as the track cooled late in the night, while Truex overcame contract with the outside wall to have the fastest car on track in the second half of the race. Penske Racing showed they were up to the challenge with all three cars running inside the top five late in the race before various issues took Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski out of contention, leaving Joey Logano to come home second.
Next up, after two weeks of racing in Charlotte, is Pocono Raceway. Truex won this race last season, with Kyle Busch coming in second only to return later in the season and hoist the trophy on the return visit. Kevin Harvick led 89 laps last spring on his way to finishing fourth, but this week's race is again shaping up to be a battle between Joe Gibbs and Penske Racing. Hendrick Motorsports has been making strides recently and cannot be counted out, though.
Martin Truex Jr. – Truex was one of the favorites Sunday night in Charlotte, but early contact with the outside wall gave him a