Grip Issues Drop Truex Jr. to 22nd in Phoenix Sprint Cup Race
March 2, 2014
Martin Truex Jr. grinded his way to a 22nd-place finish in Sunday’s The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
“Nothing worked for us today – I mean nothing,” said Truex, who started the Sprint Cup race from the 27th position. “We made a number of chassis adjustments to our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet but never could find the grip that was needed. The guys worked hard to find a combination for this track but it just didn’t materialize.”
Truex added, “The way we struggled is not what we expected after a pretty solid final practice on Saturday. But I can honestly say that we all gave it our best effort and had to work really hard just to finish 22nd.”
Though he was disappointed about the performance Truex remained upbeat about the future.
“This was the first race with NASCAR’s new rule package for the 2014 car and we still have some work ahead of us,” said Truex. “But I am confident that we will get there. We have the people and a strong team commitment to make it work.”
From the start of the 312-lap event, it was evident that Truex’s No. 78 Chevrolet had grip issues on the 1-mile oval as he finished the race one-lap down.
“The setup wasn’t there,” noted Truex. “The car was tight, then loose, it wouldn’t roll in the center – I mean nothing worked. We all have these type of days. As far as I am concerned this race is now in the rearview mirror. Our focus right now is on the Las Vegas race next week.”
After two of 36 Sprint Cup Series races Truex is 35th in driver points.
The race winner was Kevin Harvick. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray.
The race had 14 lead changes among eight drivers and there were eight cautions for 38 laps.
The next Sprint Cup race is Sunday (March 9) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.