What appeared to be another early setback for Martin Truex Jr., turned into a gritty 15th place performance in Sunday’s Toyota Save/Mart 350 road course event at Sonoma Raceway.
A Lap 1 of 110 incident that could have put Truex out of the Sprint Cup race or a lap down didn’t fluster the Furniture Row Racing team, which remained poised despite Furniture Row Racing driver dropping to last place (43rd).
“It was a rough day,” said Truex who was the defending champion of the race. "For a minute there I thought our day was going to end on the first lap. Last week in Michigan we had a lap 8 incident that put us out of contention. I flat spotted the tires today on the first lap after the tire locked up. That cost us to make an unscheduled pit stop five laps later. I think that put us dead last. But we didn't quit and started to make a comeback.”
Truex, who qualified 18th on the 11-turn, 1.99-road circuit, started to work his way up the scoreboard in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet. But he encountered another serious problem on Lap 49 when he reported a brake vibration.
He came in to the pits for four fresh tires, which resolved the issue. Truex then started to charge forward, running as high as fifth in the later stages of the race.
“At the end there we were coming around,” noted Truex. “We had the speed with fresh tires but they just didn't hold on. We're not happy with 15th, but it sure sounds better than 43rd. It could have been a disaster. This was a team effort to bounce back the way we did. We will keep on plugging away."
Truex remained 25th in driver points.