Chalk up another top-10 for Martin Truex Jr. who overcame late-race handling problems to post a 10th-place finish in Sunday's rain-delayed Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.
With one-quarter of the season completed in the 36-race schedule, Truex has eight top-10s and is third in the driver point standings. He, along with Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, are the only drivers with eight top 10s in the first nine races.
What was appearing to be a steady race for Truex turned out to be a dogfight at the 0.75-mile short track. Truex's No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet ran consistently in the top-six until he pitted for fresh tires on Lap 266 of 400.
Truex was positioned in fourth place at the time of the Lap 266 pit stop. But when he returned to action it was apparent that something was amiss with his No. 78 Chevy. He fell all the way back to 17th by the time the next caution came out on Lap 349.
"Something wasn't right after that pit stop," said Truex. "We started to go backwards almost immediately. We had a bad set of tires and lost track position. The left-front tire came apart and got destroyed. There wasn't much time left to overcome the problem. Once you get down towards the end it gets harder and harder to pass. The best we could do was get back to 10th. What's disappointing is that we had a top-five car all weekend."
Truex said he was pleased with how the team responded to correct the problem on its final pit stop (Lap 351).
"It was a struggle out there, but we made the car better and picked up enough spots to get another top 10. We've made some late-race charges a few times this season and it's a good feeling to know that we have the ability to overcome these issues. Once again I am proud of this team for bringing fast cars to the track."