Truex Jr. Finishes 21st in 5-Hour Energy 400 At Kansas Speedway
May 10, 2014
Martin Truex Jr. fought hard all race long to finish 21st in Saturday night’s 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway.
“We got a lap down early and spent two-thirds of the race trying to make it up,” Truex said. “Three different times we were only a car away from getting the ‘lucky dog’ (free pass back onto the lead lap) when the yellow flag came out. When we finally were able to get it with about 75 laps to go, the car got so tight that we really couldn’t make up any ground out there.”
Tonight’s race got the green flag some 40 minutes later than expected due to a thunderstorm moving through the area.
When it did get started, the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet fell from 26th to 30th in the first few laps. Fighting a “pushing terrible” tight-handling condition, Truex went down a lap to leader Kevin Harvick on Lap 27.
During cautions on Lap 72, Lap 111 and Lap 151, the drivers running directly in front of Truex earned the free pass to return to the lead lap.
It wasn’t until a multicar crash on the front stretch on Lap 188 that Truex got the break he was seeking. He was running 22nd and the first driver one lap down when the seventh caution flag of the evening flew.
Truex ran as high as 13th on the Lap 209 restart after staying out during the eighth caution period of the race. The tight handling condition took its toll in the final laps. He was able to stay in the lead lap until his final pit stop for two tires with 28 laps to go
“We went with two tires rather than four on that final stop hoping to get another quick caution,” explained crew chief Todd Berrier. “We thought we had a shot at getting back in the lead lap if the yellow had flown again in the next few laps after we pitted. We just weren’t lucky there at the end.”
Truex leaves Kansas 27th in driver points.
Jeff Gordon picked up his 89th career NASCAR Sprint Cup win here tonight, holding off Kevin Harvick, who won the pole and led the most laps. Kasey Kahne finished third, with Joey Logano fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fifth. Carl Edwards, Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-10 finishers.
The Sprint Cup Series now heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race. Truex is qualified for the event, based on his victory last year in Sonoma, Calif. Live coverage of the race will be televised on FOX Sports 1.