Pocono: Martin Truex Jr race report

Truex Struggles at Pocono, Finishes 17th Pocono, PA (June 8, 2008) -- After enduring what can only be described as a "roller coaster" day, Martin Truex Jr. finished 17th in Sunday's Pocono 500. Truex started 25th in the 200-lap event and...

Truex Struggles at Pocono, Finishes 17th

Pocono, PA (June 8, 2008) -- After enduring what can only be described as a "roller coaster" day, Martin Truex Jr. finished 17th in Sunday's Pocono 500.

Truex started 25th in the 200-lap event and pitted for the first time on lap 26. The caution flag came out for debris as Truex was leaving pit road. Under normal circumstances, that would have put the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet in the lead. Unfortunately, the team was penalized for improper refueling and Truex had to restart at the tail end of the longest line.

Crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion called for some different strategies after the mishap in order to improve the team's position on the track. That meant some two-tire stops for Truex, as well as staying out during several of the race's 10 caution periods.

The strategy appeared to work to the team's advantage when the final restart began on lap 181. Truex restarted the race in 17th, but had four fresh tires and more than enough gas to make it to the end. He quickly passed four cars and appeared to be heading to the front, but the handling went away on his Chevrolet Impala SS and he fell back to his finishing slot of 17th.

"That was a lot of work to finish 17th," said Truex. "We couldn't get the right rear (tire) to grip like we wanted and that hurt us. We had to try some different stuff in the pits to get us some track position back.

"The guys kept fighting and I'm proud of them for that. We'll just have to go to Michigan and have a good run there."

Truex is currently 16th in 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup driver points, 56 points behind 12th.

-credit: dei

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Series NASCAR Cup