Martin Truex Jr. fought back from a late-race penalty to post a 10th-place finish in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.
Truex’s Furniture Row Racing’s crew chief Cole Pearn was succinct in summing up the 400-lap race at the 0.75-mile short track. “It wasn’t a great day but a good recovery.”
There was also some other good news for Truex – he moved from third to second in the driver point standings.
He also added eight additional stage points when his No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota Camry finished third in the first stage, which was completed on Lap 100. Those eight points brought his season stage point total to 100.
The finish was Truex’s sixth top-10 result in the first nine races of the season and it was his fourth top 10 in his last five races Richmond.
“We just didn’t have it today, too many issues with rear grip,” explained Truex. “We were good in the beginning but couldn’t get the rear grip issue resolved with our Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota. Just one of those days where you battle all day and hope to get a top 10 and we barely did that. We have some work to do for next time we come here.”
Truex overcame what appeared to be a devastating penalty when he was called for a questionable commitment line violation as he was about to enter pit road following a Lap 366 caution. The penalty sent him to the back in 25th place.
But when the final caution came out with 24 laps remaining Truex did not pit for fresh tires. He restarted fourth and as a result of not having fresh tires lost track position, but did a good job to keep his Toyota in the top 10.