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Truex "not sure why we didn’t try to save" fuel in frustrating finish

Martin Truex Jr. lost 25 positions in the final moments of the NASCAR Cup race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway when the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota ran out of fuel.

Martin Truex Jr, Joe Gibbs Racing, Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry

Truex  was in a strong position to battle for the race win, passing Chris Buescher with less than ten laps to go. Soon after, Kyle Larson passed both drivers and took control of the race on fresher tires.

It was not going to be Truex's first victory of the 2024 season, but it was still going to be a strong runner-up finish until the exit of the final corner.

While on the frontstretch, just seconds from the checkered flag, Truex's car ran out of fuel. He dropped through the field, losing 25 positions and finishing 27th. He was the last car on the lead. He did manage to reach the line, crawling across to the roar of the crowd.

The No. 19 was the last car on the lead lap. Truex got on the radio, asking crew chief James Small why he didn't have him save any fuel while running behind Larson. Small didn't seem aware that fuel was going to be an issue. It was similar to what happened with Ryan Blaney when he was one lap away from victory at Gateway last weekend, unexpectedly running out of fuel.

 

"It was a tough day," said Truex. "Got spun out early and had to work hard to get some track position back. James [Small] did a good job on our strategy. Our car was pretty good out front. Thought we were going to have a shot to win there and just couldn’t quite get by the 17 [Chris Buescher] quick enough. I finally cleared him; I made a mistake and the 5 [Kyle Larson] was right there to pounce and then obviously ran out of gas so it didn’t matter.

"I’m not sure why we didn’t try to save a little at the end. I was clearly not going to catch the 5 or pass him. It’s a shame that we went around the last corner and went from second to wherever we finished. It sucks, but it was a tough day, and we had a good car. We battled and did a good job. We were going to have a good day, but just one corner short.”

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