Truex comes up short at Atlanta but is "knocking on the door"

Martin Truex Jr. on Sunday finally got a taste of the dominant runs he has been known for the past several seasons.

Truex comes up short at Atlanta but is "knocking on the door"

Truex and his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team have shown potential this season but had yet been unable to remain in contention for a win to the end of a race.

Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Truex showed dominant form early, winning the first two stages – his first stage victories of the 2020 season. Since the advent of stage racing in the 2017 season, Truex has earned more stage victories than any other driver in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Truex ended up losing the lead during pit stops between Stages 2 and 3 and was never able to get to race winner Kevin Harvick in the final stage, which went caution-free.

Read Also:

“We were really strong the first two stages, and I was really happy with the car, and we just got too tight there the start of Stage 3 and made some adjustments on the pit stop. It just wasn’t enough,” Truex said.

“I don’t know if the track changed or something changed in our car or what, but we’ll go back and figure it out, but way too tight the last two runs to be able to challenge, and ultimately it cost us third I guess the last 25, 30 laps of the race.

“I just tried to drive through the push and ended up just pretty much smoking the front tires off it, and I ended up losing second, so that was unfortunate. I figured with 20 or so to go I had to lay it all out on the line and see if I could do anything, and unfortunately come up short.”

Truex’s third-place finish was his first top-five of the season and just the second race this season in which he has led more than 60 laps.

He said he has felt good about the competitiveness of his team this year but said they have had difficulty “putting it all together.”

“I've been happy with our cars. I felt like we had a shot at winning the Southern 500, the Coke 600, a chance to win here,” he said. “We’ve been knocking on the door, we’ve just been – it just feels like it hasn’t been our season yet, but we’re right there.

“The guys are doing a great job, and our cars are fast, and we’ve got to put it all together one of these days coming soon.”

The series next competes Wednesday night at Martinsville (Va) Speedway, where Truex won last fall – his first career victory at the track.

“Martinsville has been a good track to us the past few seasons and being the defending winner there last time feels great, but it doesn’t guarantee anything,” he said.

“Different rules package, lower downforce this time around, and we’ll have to hopefully go there and have something that will work good off the trailer because again, no practice.”

Read Also:

shares
comments
Bubba Wallace says "I'm good" after scary post-race incident
Previous article

Bubba Wallace says "I'm good" after scary post-race incident

Next article

Bubba Wallace on Confederate flags: "Get them out of here"

Bubba Wallace on Confederate flags: "Get them out of here"
Load comments
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021