Truex: Daytona needs to “figure out” keeping chicane mud off track

Martin Truex Jr says work is required by Daytona to ensure that mud isn’t dragged onto the racing surface at its bus stop chicane ahead of the upcoming road course Cup race, after he wrecked from the lead in Tuesday night’s Busch Clash event.

The race went under yellow after just nine laps in an attempt to clean the bus stop, as constant straight-lining of the curbs dragged dust and mud onto the track surface. Kevin Harvick was an early spinner there, and cars quickly became caked in dirt – with drivers complaining of reduced visibility.

With six laps remaining, race leader Truex spun into the wall as he exited the chicane, ending his evening.

“I just overshot the bus stop a little bit and hit that mud that was there,” he said. “It was worse than the laps before, so [it] just caught me off guard. I actually slowed down from the lap before going through there and once it got in the bus stop turned back to the right, it was gone.”

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NASCAR used the road course for the first time in the season-opening exhibition race, and will use the layout again for the second round of its Cup Series on February 21.

“The track is awesome – a blast to drive on with these cars,” added Truex.  “The only thing we’ve got to work on is figuring out how to keep the mud off of the track in the chicane.

“What happens is you get behind somebody real close, and you go in there and you can’t see where you are going, so if they get into the mud, you follow them and if there is four cars in line, everybody’s trying to cut the chicane a little tighter, a little tighter and it just blows mud everywhere.

“We’ve got to figure that out a little bit, but outside of that – the track is a blast.”

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Truex had already lost the lead once in the race, when he mistakenly skipped the front-stretch chicane under a full course yellow – thinking he’d have the pace car to follow as leader – which earned him a penalty.

Truex radioed: “Where the heck’s the pace car? I was expecting it at the chicane.”

When told it was his mistake to miss the chicane, he replied: “I don't know why I did that. That's a terrible job. I'm sorry.”

After the race he added: “I made a big mistake early on and it cost us the lead and we had to come from the back.

“Honestly, I beat the car to pieces trying to get there. It was fun; it was a lot of fun getting through the field, just wish we could have closed it out.”

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Series NASCAR Cup
Author Charles Bradley
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