Bad luck bites Martin Truex Jr. yet again

Truex led 122 of the first 257 circuits of the New Hampshire 301.

Bad luck bites Martin Truex Jr. yet again
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, pit action
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota

Although race leader Matt Kenseth passed Truex for the lead on Lap 258, the No. 78 Furniture Row Toyota held onto second-place before his clutch malfunctioned following a pit stop on the fourth caution. 

“Now, I have no clutch," Truex reported to his crew. "It burned the clutch right out of it..awesome.”

Truex restarted 15th with his transmission stuck in fourth gear for the remainder of the race. In addition to his team having to push Truex out of his pits, his malady made for precarious restarts   over the final three cautions.

“You’re a sitting duck and there’s nothing you can do to get going,” Truex said. “Unfortunately, we got passed by a lot of cars and we pitted for tires on that last stop because we were starting all the way in the back on that restart there and we wanted to get some momentum going and make sure we didn’t destroy the race car getting in a wreck. 

“We passed 10 cars in the last 10 laps so we had a good race car, just nothing to show for it today.”

Although the team worked on the car, Truex was simply forced to deal with the situation. He dropped to 24th after the sixth caution but recovered to finish 16th. 

For the second week in a row, Truex’s had one of the fastest cars in the field before his misfortune. Last week at Kentucky Speedway, Truex led 46 circuits before he was bit by a safety violation. The No. 78 Toyota was sent to the tail end of the lead lap cars for passing Kevin Harvick on pit road. Harvick had the lead with 68 laps to determine the contest. Truex restarted 23rd and recovered to finish 10th. 

Sure, Truex has enjoyed a tremendous season. He won from pole at Charlotte Motor Speeway after leading 392 of 400 laps. And with the season one race beyond halfway, Truex has led a career-high 989 laps for one season. 

Staying positive

Although he’s left plenty of missed opportunities at the race track, Truex remains optimistic.

“A lot of positives we can take out of today,” said Truex, who remains seventh in the standings. “Looking forward to the Chase and what we’re trying to do with this team, this is a big relief to come here and be able to run well. We knew this was one of our tough tracks and if we could come here and get through here good in September then we’ll be setup to start pretty good in the Chase.   

"All in all, total team effort and the pit crew was great today, the best they’ve been all year by far. We’re doing everything right, but we’re taking some on the chin here, but this isn’t when it counts so we’ll just keep our heads up and keep working. Our race cars are fast and everyone is doing a great job. Sooner or later we’ll get everything straight.”

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