Martin Truex Jr. Survives The Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL To Advance In Playoffs

Martin Truex Jr. Survives The Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL To Advance In Playoffs

by October 9, 2023 0 comments

CONCORD, N.C. – Martin Truex Jr. won the Regular Season championship, but ever since the NASCAR Playoffs kicked off, he has yet to finish inside of the top-15. On Sunday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, Truex overcame adversity and earned enough points to advance to the Round of 8.

Truex certainly looked like a championship favorite heading into the final 10 races of the season, but the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota team has struggled – big time. 

Truex finished 18th at Darlington Raceway, a track where he has been very strong. The following weekend, he crashed out on Lap 3 at Kansas Speedway and finished dead last. He finished 19th at Bristol Motor Speedway, 17th at Texas Motor Speedway and 18th at Talladega Superspeedway. Sunday’s effort at the ROVAL resulted in a 20th-place finish; however, due to stage points and bonus points, he advanced to the next round.

“I didn’t create the system,” Truex said. “We used it to our advantage. That won’t get us through the next one. The next one, you’ve got to be running up front. Two winners of the next three races are probably going to be Playoff guys that are still going. Need to turn it up and we need to figure it out quickly.”

Throughout the Bank of America ROVAL 400, Truex experienced nearly every emotion. He finished out Stage 1 in the fourth position, and he followed up Stage 2 with an eighth-place finish. But, in Stage 3, chaos ensued.

With 39 laps to go, Michale McDowell overdrove the frontstretch chicane and nearly collected Truex. He checked up, and Denny Hamlin who was behind him went for a spin. On Lap 81, Truex’s biggest scare came when he had to avoid the crashing cars of Erik Jones and Michael McDowell in Turn 2. Despite the craziness, Truex kept his car clean and earned enough points to continue his championship hunt and leapfrog to second in the standings.

“That’s the beauty and that’s the thing that sucks about this deal, you know what I mean,” Truex said. “I’m sure there’s guys that are upset. They outran us enough to get in, but they didn’t have the bonus points. It is what it is. I hate that we didn’t run better today or finish better at least. I thought the first two stages maybe our car was pretty decent, but, man, I don’t know what happened. Need to go back and look at that. It wasn’t much fun, but we made it so here we go. We’ll try three more.”

Truex now looks ahead to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. All three tracks have been good to Truex over recent years.

“Feel good about moving on and feel good about what we can do the next three races,” Truex said. “Some good tracks for us and hopefully we can get something going. It’s been a pretty tough playoffs so far.”

At Las Vegas, Truex has an average finish of 10th. He has finished inside the top-five or top-10 in 11 of the last 12 races at the track, including two (2017 & 2019) wins. Of the next three tracks, Homestead-Miami has been the best for Truex. He has an average finish of 9.7, and over the past six races, he has finished inside of the top-five in four, including a win in 2017. At Martinsville, Truex has three career wins, and in the spring, he finished third.

Despite the adversity, Truex and his team haven’t given up, and now they’re still in the championship hunt. Can Truex rebound and get back to his Regular Season form? Only time will tell, but as the Playoffs continue, strong performances are potentially going to become less effective because there’s a good chance, the next three winners are going to move on to the Championship 4. Truex is going to have to be competing for wins and not just top-15 or top-10 performances.

The Round of 8 will get underway this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the South Point 400 will broadcast on NBC on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/

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