How Martin Truex Jr. scored historic win in NASCAR's longest race

Usually, when it's time to analyze a race victory, there are plenty of elements to consider: Did the winner take the top spot because he made a great late-race restart or was it a fast pit stop or a good strategic call from his crew chief? Was fuel mileage the difference, or a bold pass to take the lead.

In the case of Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, none of those questions really applied.

There were just two keys to the stunning race victory by Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota: 1. Truex's car was far and away the fastest in the field. 2. For the first time all season, Truex and his crew were able to execute flawlessly, with no miscues.

And mistakes have hurt the team before this year on the fast 1.5-mile tracks like Charlotte. At Texas, Truex led 141 laps but bad tire strategy meant wound up sixth; he led 172 laps at Kansas, only to have a freak wheel issue late in the race caused by a lose screw.

This time, though, Truex and his team put it all together, as led a race record 392 laps to win over past series champions Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson. Not only was that a race record, Truex led 588 of 600 miles, the most miles any driver has ever led in a single NASCAR race.

It was the Truex's fourth career victory and his first since Pocono in June 2015, 34 races ago

In point of fact, Truex dominated the entire weekend from start to finish. He qualified on pole, was no lower than seventh in any of the three practices, including the final Happy Hour session, when he was fastest again.

And in the race, Truex's car was a bullet. The only difference was, this time there was no bad luck -- no loose wheels, no pit road penalties, no parts failures. The Mayetta, N.J., native ran as flawless a race as you could run.

In the first 150 laps of the race, Truex led all but two laps and those were when he pitted under green to allow Jimmie Johnson to briefly nab the top spot. Clearly, the No. 78 Furniture Row Toyota was in its own zip code in the opening stages of the race.

But around Lap 150, Truex's car began to wiggle in the corners, suddenly looking really twitchy after being untouchable early. Fortunately for Truex, he pitted shortly thereafter and found the culprit to be an extremely worn tire.

Once he got fresh rubber, Truex took off like a shot again, and at Lap 200, he lad 196 laps. In the 56-year history of this race, no one had ever led that many laps in the first half of the race.

Truex led 98 of the next 100 laps as well, giving up two laps during another round of green-flag pit stops.

The caution flew for debris on Lap 340, and when it did, Truex held the lead on pit road over Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick. And on the subsequent restart, Johnson briefly got past Truex, and then Truex blew right past him and into the record books with a beat down of epic proportions.