Truex: "Everybody in the garage pushes the rules"

Martin Truex Jr. doesn't like it when people use the term "cheater" in response to recent infractions in NASCAR.

Truex: "Everybody in the garage pushes the rules"
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
NASCAR officials
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
NASCAR official

Citing examples of things he would consider cheating, Truex brought up building an oversized engine or soaking the tires. "Those things are blatant cheating, but pushing the envelope on parts and pieces and sometimes things are out of tolerance, I don't consider that cheating," he explained.

"I think it's just sometimes you go too far. Sometimes things unexpected happen. Everybody in the garage pushes the rules. You have to to be competitive, you know, so labeling people cheaters for failing something minuscule is harsh and again it just sheds a bad light on our sport, you know, I think. It's just my opinion. Everybody has them and obviously we all see that, especially on Twitter. I just get frustrated at times because of all the negativity and people bashing everybody about everything."

And Truex is among those frustrated with people throwing around the "c" word when discussing Denny Hamlin's encumbered Darlington victories.

"Rules are rules, and I think when you break the rules, you have to pay the penalty," said Truex. "It's frustrating as a driver and as a race fan though to see people just get so up in arms and so upset about something as small as some of the things that we've seen penalties come down for and accuse people of being cheaters. The things that get said about them is kind of way over the top and not really fair, and it's frustrating at times to see that, even if you're not on the receiving end of it.

"But again, at the end of the day, NASCAR, they have to make the rules, and they have to draw the line. I wish it was easier to convey just what these things mean, how the penalties are how the rules were broken, understanding what it does to the cars and things. It's so confusing. There's just so much to it. I don't know what the right answer is, I just wish that we would focus more on the positive things in our sport than the negatives, and certainly this season and what's gone on is such a greater story than somebody failing such a small deal like that a few times throughout the season. It's frustrating to see."

The Furniture Row Racing driver wants fans to understand that the advantage, if any, gained from these violations is minuscule at best. "I can tell you that's not why (Hamlin) beat us," declared Truex, referring to the finish of last weekend's Southern 500.

"At least explain to the fans that, ‘Hey, this isn't such a big deal.’ You know, this isn't a half a second, a lap – this is tiny little things. It's not blatant cheating here I don't think, but one man's opinion."

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