Martin Truex Jr. Recovers From Pit Road Penalty To Finish Third At Richmondby Camille Jones September 23, 2018 0 comments
RICHMOND, Va. – Martin Truex Jr. recovered from a mid-race pit road penalty to finish third in Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway.
Truex won the first two stages of the race before his Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota was sent to the rear of the field for an uncontrolled tire on pit road on lap 204 of the 400-lap race.
Truex wasn’t held back for long, though, as he was already back in the top-10 with 90 laps remaining in the race. Unfortunately for the No. 78 team, he was unable to clear Kevin Harvick, who finished second. Truex led a race high of 163 laps throughout the night.
“I don’t know what we’ve got to do to win one of these things,” said Truex. “God, it’s awfully frustrating to come here and be so good and lead so many laps and find every single way possible that just things don’t work out for us. It’s pretty frustrating. But at the same time, it feels good to run that good, and we recovered well and did what we came here to do, which is move on to the next round.”
The pressure is now off Truex temporarily as his team is now locked into the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Playoffs for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“I wish we would have been in Victory Lane right now, but in a few days I guess the pain will go away a little bit and we’ll be able to go to the Roval and have some fun with no pressure,” Truex said.
Truex won’t let the pain of a penalty that ended his dominant run linger for long, and he doesn’t expect to let the mishap hinder his team moving forward.
“Yeah, you’ve just got to move on from it,” Truex said. “You can’t beat a dead horse. If you start yelling and screaming at them they’re just going to do worse the next stop. For me, I let Cole (Pearn, crew chief) and the guys in the pit handle it.” Truex said in regards to his team being penalized for the uncontrolled tire. “I just do all I can do behind the wheel to get back to the front. That’s all you can do.”
Truex added and said, “Like I said, it was a good recovery. Their stops after that were all good. We had a new front changer this week and thought he did a really good job. Aside from the penalty, we were probably the fastest we’ve been on pit road in a while. That’s really encouraging for the playoffs and going down the stretch here when you need to win races off pit road and things like that. We’ll take a mistake here when it doesn’t count and hope they get it cleaned up, and we’ll move forward and really just have fast, clean pit stops.”
Truex currently leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings as the series heads to the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL next weekend for the Bank of America ROVAL 400 on Sunday, September 30. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on NBC and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 2 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com