Martin Truex Jr. got wrecked, punted, clipped, banged, slammed, and yet, the Furniture Row Racing driver somehow brought home a 13th-place finish in Sunday’s frenetic race at the volatile Talladega Superspeedway.
“Talladega sure lived up to its reputation,” said Truex as he surveyed his heavily damaged Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota Camry. “I guess you can say that finishing 13th was both unfortunate and fortunate. It just depends the way you look at it.”
With 26 laps remaining and running in the top 10 Truex found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He got caught up in the BIG ONE -- a 21-car melee on the 2.66 mile oval.
At first glance, it appeared Truex’s day was finished, but after the dust settled following the Lap 162 accident, Martin radioed the team and said, “We have damage, but still have all four wheels on it and the oil and water pressures look good.”
With that said, Truex came down pit road for three unscheduled stops which allowed the No. 78 crew to make temporary repairs to all sides of the severely damaged race car.
“The guys did a great job to get us back on track,” noted Truex. “Though we had big-time damage, the Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota still had some steam.”
Truex restarted 20th and eventually advanced as high as seventh. But as the race wore on, he experienced more bad luck when he got bumped and shuffled out of the draft by the No. 38 car (Landon Cassill). That body slam sent Truex back to 26th in track position.
“We ran a good portion of the race in the top 10 and a number of laps in second, but something always seemed to come up to stall our progress,” said Truex. “This is Talladega and you have to drive with your head on and put your car in holes that it will fit into. Not much else to say except we’re looking forward to Kansas next week. That was one race we should have won last year.”
Truex gained one spot in the Sprint Cup driver point standings, ranking ninth after 10 races.
The Geico 500 race winner was Brad Keselowski. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Chase Elliott, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney and Trevor Bayne.
The race had 10 cautions for 41 laps and 37 lead changes among seven drivers.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is Saturday night May 7 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.
Truex Jr. Overcomes Talladega Body Slams to Finish 13th
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