Phoenix II: Martin Truex Jr race report

Bass Pro Shops Race Review: Truex Seventh at Phoenix In what has become an all too familiar storyline to his 2007 Chase for the Nextel Cup, Martin Truex Jr. had a strong car and led laps, but couldn't get the victory. Truex finished seventh...

Bass Pro Shops Race Review: Truex Seventh at Phoenix

In what has become an all too familiar storyline to his 2007 Chase for the Nextel Cup, Martin Truex Jr. had a strong car and led laps, but couldn't get the victory. Truex finished seventh in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500.

Truex started on the outside pole and ran in the top-five for the majority of the event. The turning point for the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team came on the race's final caution period on lap 269. Truex and his team, running third at the time, elected to stay on the track while leader Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and a host of others opted to pit for fresh tires and gas.

The race restarted on lap 274 with Truex in the lead. The lead was short-lived however, as eventual winner Jimmie Johnson took the top position 15 laps later. From there, it was just a matter of Truex holding on to the car as best he could as his tires began to fade. He continued to battle his way around the one-mile track before coming home with his second top-10 finish in a row.

"It was my decision," said crew chief Kevin Manion. "I wanted to stay out. The car was at its best and the tires only had 26 green flag laps on them. I thought that was our best chance. I absolutely thought more guys would stay out. We had only just run a short little run, but it proved to be wrong."

Truex is 11th in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series points.

-credit: dei

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup