Running Up Front, Truex Jr. Gets Wrecked On Final Lap
February 13, 2016
On the final lap in Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited overtime race, Martin Truex Jr. got wrecked while running close to the leaders in the non-points event at Daytona International Speedway. The incident shoved Truex back to an unlucky 13th place finish in the opening race of Speedweeks.
When the scheduled 75-lap race went into overtime due to a caution on Lap 73, Truex’s No. 78 Toyota Camry was positioned in sixth place. But when the cars passed the new overtime finish line (past Turn 2), the wreckfest started when the No. 1 car of Jamie McMurray hooked the No. 20 car of Matt Kenseth, which eventually slid and nailed Truex’s Toyota. Though the flat-black Furniture Row/Denver Mattress car suffered heavy damage, Truex came away unscathed.
“This is the nature of this race, no points on the line and it’s winner take all,” said Truex. “We were in good position to make a move on the final restart, but just got caught up in someone else’s mistake and came away with a frustrating ending. Before the last restart it seemed like I couldn’t get to where I needed to get to. It was a battle to get into the middle lane. I kept on getting stuck in a position where I didn’t want to be.”
The invitational race, which featured 25 cars on the 2.5-mile oval, had seven cautions for 25 laps and 12 lead changes among three drivers.
The race winner was Denny Hamlin. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Kyle Larson, Casey Mears, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle.
Daytona Speedweeks continues Sunday with Pole Day qualifying. Pole Day will lock in the front row for the Daytona 500 (Feb 21) and determine the starting lineup for Thursday’s (Feb. 18) 150-mile qualifying races.