Martin Truex Jr. had a fast race car in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race, but his Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota got mangled in an 18-car melee that started in front of him with 20 laps remaining at the volatile Talladega Superspeedway.
Though his 35th-place result was disappointing, the Furniture Row Racing driver did find some solace after the dust settled on the 2.66-mile oval. He finished fourth in both stage races, picking up 14 championship points. He also remains in second place in the driver standings.
Truex, who has a history of being a victim of Talladega wreckfests, appeared to be having a reversal of fortune at NASCAR’s biggest track until he saw plumes of smoke in front of him on Lap 168.
“Our No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota was just unbelievable today,” said Truex. “It was so fast we felt like we were in pretty good position most of the day. However, we got shuffled to the outside one time and got us in a bad spot as they were wrecking in front of me. All I saw were spinning cars, lots of smoke and no place to go. It’s a shame, but that’s the the way it goes here.
“Talladega has been a tough one to finish, but we did get stage points today so that’s a bonus. At least it’s better than running all day and crashing out and not getting anything. All in all, it’s one of those deals and it’s Talladega. Looking forward to Kansas next week for sure.”
Truex was not injured in the multicar accident, but his car suffered major front-end damage and was not repairable.