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Apr 08, 2014 - 06:37 AM
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Heads Up Driving by Truex Jr. Avoids Early Incident; Finishes 18th in Texas
Posted by: newsla on Apr 08, 2014 - 06:36 AM
Heads Up Driving by Truex Jr. Avoids Early Incident; Finishes 18th in Texas

Martin Truex Jr. finished 18th in Monday’s rain-delayed Sprint Cup Series race. But if it hadn’t been for some savvy driving by the Furniture Row Racing pilot the result could have been much worse.


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Thirteen laps into the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Truex delicately maneuvered his No. 78 Chevrolet SS past the fiery No. 88 car of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who crashed into the Turn 1 wall at the 1.5-mile oval.

Truex’s flat-black Chevrolet avoided major body damage from the incident, but the car was the recipient of plenty of flying mud when Earnhardt drove through the wet infield grass before slamming into the concrete barrier.

“There was a lot of mud on our car, including the grille, and we were concerned about the lack of air flow to the radiator,” explained Truex, who gained one position in the point standings and is now ranked 27th. “Had we crashed at that point we most likely would have had a 42nd-place finish. I guess finishing 18th is a lot better, but we sure didn’t have the performance that we were expecting.”

Truex, who ended the race on the lead lap, said his car lacked forward grip on the long runs.

“We just didn’t have the forward bite that you need on this track,” noted Truex. “The car would snap loose – it was a handful to drive at times. We fell a lap down (on lap 157) and couldn’t maintain that “Lucky Dog” position to get us back on the lead lap. We eventually got the lap back, but it was a result of the wave around near the end of the race.”

Truex added, “We didn't nail it today, but our over-the-wall crew sure did with consistently quick pit stops. They are a big asset to our team.”

The race winner was Joey Logano. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers, Kyle Larson, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard and Tony Stewart.

The race had 18 lead changes among eight drivers and there were seven cautions for 49 laps.

The next Sprint Cup Series race is Saturday night (April 12) at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

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