Truex on Fire

Seth Livingstone - NASCAR Wire Service Monday, Nov 23 1978
The left rear quarter of the Furniture Row Chevrolet was on fire when Martin Truex Jr. left the pits after his pit stop on Lap 138. Other than not getting a full tank of fuel, this was not Truex's problem.

After qualifying 11th, Truex knew that crew chief Cole Pearn was going to have to take a big swing in making adjustments to make his car competitive. In the end, the adjustments were never quite enough. Although able to run in the top 10, Truex had faded to ninth, 15.9 seconds off the pace, by Lap 125.

That didn't stop Pearn from taking his shots. The No. 78 team rolled the dice, taking only two tries to take the lead with 96 laps to go. Unfortunately for
Truex, Brad Keselowski powered by him on the restart, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick soon followed, and 15 laps later, Truex was back in 11th place, 7.5 seconds off the pace and last among the Championship 4 contenders.

"We never could quite hit on anything to get the car to do the things we needed it to," Truex said. "But I'm super-proud of the season. We came here and really tried everything we knew to put out our best performance. It just wasn't in the cards."