Pit road speeding penalty derails Truex's chance at Bristol win

This one was on Martin Truex Jr.

Pit road speeding penalty derails Truex's chance at Bristol win
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota, pit stop
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota pit stop
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota

Truex could taste a victory Monday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and felt his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota was one of the best cars in the field.

But in the final 40 laps, Truex got moved to the rear of the field after NASCAR hit him with a pit road speeding penalty on Lap 466 of 500.

He did manage to fight his way back up to eighth at the finish.

“We were going for it, you know. I wish we could have had a shot there just to see if we could have won,” Truex said immediately after the race. “This is the best run we’ve had here in a long time.

“We were close there before that last caution, but it is what it is and you try to get what you can get and sometimes you cross the line and today we crossed the line.”

Truex led 116 laps – second-most in the race – and collected a playoff point with his victory in Stage 2.

Truex appeared to be one of the drivers who could make the most out of the track’s bottom racing groove, which was treated with VHT resin this weekend to help improve grip. Kyle Larson – who led the most laps (202) – was most successful using the top groove.

“Had the VHT not worn out quite as bad then we would have really killed them,” Truex said. “The top lane came in and some guys could run that better than I could, but overall it was a good day and a lot of fun.

“Early in the race on the long run we killed them on the bottom and then slowed down a little bit and the top got faster and I couldn’t run the top quite as good as a few of them. That last run I could stay with (Johnson) and I could actually catch him a little in (Turns) 1 and 2 on the bottom.”

Truex is third in the series standings, 37 behind Larson, the leader. He has already amassed 10 playoff points this season, tied for the most so far this season with two other drivers (Brad Keselowski and Johnson).

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