Yogi Berra’s famous quote, “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over” would be an appropriate description of Martin Truex Jr.’s run Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
The Furniture Row Racing driver ran up front for the majority of the 194-lap overtime race. He led a lap and also ran second for a number of laps challenging for the lead on the ultra fast 2.66-mile oval.
But when the green flag waved for the final two laps, Truex’s No. 78 Chevrolet not only got trapped but also took a hit to the left rear quarter panel. The combination of events slowed Truex as he crossed the finish line in 27th-place.
“I don’t know what to say except this is Talladega and you can go from hero to zero very quickly at this place,” said Truex, who qualified 12th for the Geico 500 Sprint Cup race. “We had a good car and deserved much better. We were in the top-10 and top-five all day. It was unfortunate about what happened at the end.”
Before the green-white-checkered finish, Truex stayed out of trouble by running up front while putting himself in position to make a move at the end.
“We had a strategy and it was working,” noted Truex, who was running fifth with five laps remaining in regulation (188 laps). “But some things are completely out of your control and we got bit at the end. If there is a bright side we showed that we have solid a superspeedway program.”
The race winner was Brad Keselowski. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Landon Cassill, Ryan Newman, Travis Kvapil, Kurt Busch, Marcos Ambrose, Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears.
There were 38 lead changes among 19 drivers and six cautions for 25 laps.