Pit Strategy, Rain Help Truex to Fourth-Place Finish at Loudon LOUDON, N.H. (June 29, 2008) -- Martin Truex Jr. was hoping to celebrate his 28th birthday in style by winning Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Pit Strategy, Rain Help Truex to Fourth-Place Finish at Loudon
LOUDON, N.H. (June 29, 2008) -- Martin Truex Jr. was hoping to celebrate his 28th birthday in style by winning Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver did not get his birthday wish, but he did come home with a strong forth-place finish in the rain-shortened event.
Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion proved his mettle by making the gutsy decision to keep his driver out on the track during a late caution period on lap 271. The majority of the leaders opted to pit during the caution, moving Truex from 23rd position to fourth.
The race restarted on lap 278, but the caution came out again two laps later because of a multi-car wreck. The red flag was brought out due to rain on lap 284 and NASCAR called the event a short time later.
"That was a great decision by Bono," said Truex. "We were talking about staying out and stretching our fuel mileage anyway, so we just decided to roll the dice. He had been telling me to try and save some gas and we had those caution laps. I think we could have made it to the end of the race without pitting again, but I was glad to see the rain."
Truex started the race in eighth and ran as high as second, but the handling on his No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet began to go away mid-race.
"We had a good car at the beginning of the race," explained Truex. "We drove up to the front and were looking really good, but the track just completely went away from us -- we got so tight we couldn't do anything to fix it.
"That's kind of been the way it's been all year," added Truex. "We've run a lot better this year than we've normally finished, so what comes around goes around, I guess."
Truex is 14th in 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup driver points, 71 points out of 12th.