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Advocare 500K Update: Kyle Busch leads from pole, engine woes derail Martin Truex Jr. early

Martin Truex Jr. started second in the Advocare 500K at the Phoenix International Raceway, but he dropped to ninth after nearly crashing on the very first lap.

Bigger problems have befallen the No. 56 Toyota, sponsored by Atlanta-based NAPA Auto Parts, however. Truex's car suddenly lost speed and began to gradually slow further and further. Finally at lap 11, Truex brought the stricken Camry to the attention of his MWR crew. It is a disappointing blow to Truex's hopes of winning a race before the 2012 campaign closes out.

Kyle Busch had led every lap from the pole when the opening yellow of the race flew on lap 18 for a crash by Mike Bliss Bliss tried to slide up in front of Timmy Hill on the backstretch kink, the pair connected, and Bliss's Toyota slapped the wall hard before grinding to a halt. Denny Hamlin, who won the February race at PIR, is second followed by defending race champ Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard and Aric Almirola.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.