Truex's victory at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway was his third of the season and second in the last three Sprint Cup races.
Was Elliott, the son of a former champion and the future of Hendrick Motorsports thinking about victory? He was in position for a fast start to the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. An early stop in the pits because of a delaminating right front tire.
"My approach to it really changed two years ago when Sherry got diagnosed with cancer and had to go through all those things", Truex said.
"We've all watched this stuff long enough; we know these races don't go green that long typically". "It was expected; it's going to happen".
With 10 laps remaining, it was doubtful that Truex, who running second, was going to catch the lead auto driven by Chase Elliott.
Martin Truex Jr. crosses the finish line as he wins a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Chicagoland Speedway, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Joliet, Ill.
Truex's allies with Joe Gibbs Racing were competitive but not able to keep pace.
"It is shocking we haven't made it past the second round", he said. But you've got to know when to play it and when to swallow it. He did a great job. I wasn't going to catch him. I don't think we were going to pass him unless he got loose or made a mistake. There's no stress in the first 26 races for a lot of them, and it's easy to brush off a bad day because it doesn't really matter. "We can overcome it".
That was unfortunate for Elliott, who shrugged his shoulders again.
Camrys also have run out front for more than half of the laps.
But with drivers in their first green-flag stops, Aric Almirola's team lost a tire. The only other driver who has four top-tens is Kyle Busch.
Elliott and Truex came in to pit for tires, with some non-Chase drivers Ryan Blaney and Kasey Kahne and Chase contender Carl Edwards staying on the track.
"They had no choice", crew chief Alan Gustafson said of the call by NASCAR officials to display the yellow flag. While this race may seem like just another oval, it does have it's quirks. News stories displayed here appear in our category for Sports and are licensed via a specific agreement between LongIsland.com and The Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization. "What do you expect, right?" But at the end of the day it's frustrating to have it won and ... whatever. The Chase newcomer was forced to pit road over the race's final stint with a flat tire and was subsequently trapped a lap down. We're going to have our work cut out for us, that's for sure. He finished 20th, with only Chris Buescher behind him in the standings among the 16 Chase drivers. The series moves on to New Hampshire and then Dover before the bottom four drivers are eliminated and the Round of 12 begins. "He's always been a victor, but it takes intensity and consistency to win the championship".
"Being hurt, being on the sidelines gave me a little different perspective of what life is outside of racing", Busch said.
WHO'S NOT: Kyle Larson, who had the fastest vehicle in Saturday's practice, had to change a transmission and start from the back.
"We went through a pretty rough five- or six-week patch where we didn't run near as good as we should and I feel like lately we've been running better", Kenseth said as Chase for the Sprint Cup activities opened Thursday.
"You've just got to be ready for it, embrace it when it happens, suck it up and try to figure out how to make it happen after it does".