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Season-low cautions leads to shortest Cup race of NASCAR’s modern era

Martin Truex Jr. Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney all gambled on their pit strategy at Watkins Glen but Truex Jr. and his team pulled off a dramatic win in the final laps.

Anyone who watched Sunday’s Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International may have thought the race went by really fast.

That’s because it transpired in a historic pace.

When Martin Truex Jr. took the checkered flag to win the I Love New York 355, it was 2 hours, 7 minutes and 3 seconds after the initial green flag at 3:18 p.m. ET.

That made it the shortest Cup race of NASCAR’s modern history, which dates back to 1972. While the Cup race was only 90 laps long, it lasted three minutes shorter than Saturday’s Xfinity Series event, which was 82 laps.

The Cup race was slowed three times for eight laps due to caution.

The yellow was displayed at the end of Stages 1 and 2 and then on Lap 53 for debris from Landon Cassill after he blew a tire. It’s the fewest cautions in a Cup race this season. The previous low was four in June at Pocono.

The last time there were fewer than four cautions was in the 2016 Atlanta race (three).

A Cup race has not lasted less than 2 hour and 7 minutes since a Aug. 28, 1971 race held at Hickory Speedway in Hickory, North Carolina. That day, Tiny Lund won a 276-lap race on the .363-mile track in 1 hour, 22 minutes and 25 seconds.

While a fast race, fans were given plenty of action on Sunday with qualifying being held a few hours before the green flag.

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