Truex Jr. Has Strong Run Until Taking a Bristol Hit
March 16, 2014
A late-race hit spoiled a solid run by Martin Truex Jr. in Sunday’s rain-delayed Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
As the race was winding down, Truex’s No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet got clipped on the right rear, which triggered a chain reaction. The impact damaged the car’s track-bar mount that eventually broke, causing the left-rear tire to go flat on Lap 423 of 503 Truex then spun, brushed the wall and was left with no option but to bring the car to the garage for repairs.
He returned to action on Lap 452 and finished 36th, 32 laps down.
At the time of the incident Truex was positioned in the top-15.
“We battled and battled to get the car working and it eventually picked up steam,” said Truex, who ran as high as 12th after starting 29th. “We had a long talk after the red flag (Lap 124 for rain) and it made a difference. We were strong in practice yesterday, but today the cold and damp conditions were a factor and it took a little while to get settled in.
“I felt we had a shot for a top-10 and then all that stuff happened. Your car gets banged up so much at this track that sometimes those hits will come back to bite you, which it did today. Very disappointing – we’ve had some tough luck this year but it will change.”
The start of the race was delayed for more than two hours due to rain; and temperatures during the event ranged from the low to mid 40s. The race was also red-flagged for more than three hours after Lap 125.
The race winner was Carl Edwards. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Aric Almirola, Tony Stewart, Marcos Ambrose, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers and Kyle Larson.
The race had 20 lead changes among 12 drivers and there were 12 cautions for 95 laps.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is Sunday (March 23) at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.