Previous victory eases Truex's pain at Pocono

Were it not for his victory at Charlotte the week before, the unusual circumstances that stalled Martin Truex Jr.’s chance at victory Monday at Pocono would probably weigh a lot more on his mind.

Previous victory eases Truex's pain at Pocono
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota

In Monday’s rain-delayed Axalta 400, Truex and his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team once again appeared to have a car capable of contending for the win only to have unusual pit road incidents curtail his run.

His dominating win in last week’s Coca-Cola 600, however, has already locked Truex into this season’s championship Chase.

“We weren’t great, but had a shot at a much better finish than 19th,” Truex said. “It was not the weekend we obviously wanted, but you just have to take what is given to you and move on. Michigan (next race) should be a good track for us and hopefully things will go much smoother.”

During an early-race competition caution, the Furniture Row driver – then running 12th – came down pit road for a planned two-tire stop but as he exited his pit stall, his right-front fender took a severe hit from Matt DiBenedetto.

The contact also pushed Truex into the wall causing more damage to the left-side of his #78 Toyota. After numerous repairs, Truex restarted the race in the rear of the field.

Truex had worked his way back up to 16th when he elected to pit under caution on Lap 117 for what was going to be another two-tire stop. It looked like he would restart the race in the top-five, but was forced back down pit road again when his right-rear tire blew.

The problem this time? A flying lug nut from the old tire landed behind the wheel, shearing off the tire’s inner stem valve.

“It was a fluke, but that’s the way it goes sometimes,” he said.

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