Truex frustrated after Kansas goes to overtime

Martin Truex Jr. had the freshest tires for overtime on Sunday night at Kansas Speedway, and his valiant charge got him to fourth place in the AdventHealth 400.

“Just trying to find somewhere to go, you know?” Truex said. “Restarting from 10th with four tires is tough to do in two laps. I just needed to clear the 9 (Chase Elliott) a little quicker and needed to get into (Turn) 3 single file, and then I probably had a chance.

“But we were two-wide and that made me tight off Turn 4 – couldn’t quite get the run I needed to get to the win.”

Truex was the first driver on four tires for the restart. He came off pit road in 10th position and chose to restart on the outside of the fifth row (which kept him 10th). At the white flag, Truex was in a battle for third place with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott and cleared them both through Turns 1 and 2.


Off the final corner, coming to the checkered flag, Truex appeared to have a run on the two leaders of Kyle Larson and Chris Buescher. However, those two wound up in a photo finish and Truex was nipped at the finish line by Elliott, who ran with him side-by-side down the frontstretch.

The 402-mile race might have ended differently for Truex had it not been for the final caution. Truex, who had pitted under caution with 70 laps to go, was catching Hamlin, who was in fuel-save mode because he’d stayed out under that caution. The run started with 62 laps to go, and Truex restarted outside the top 10.

Truex moved to fifth place with 35 laps to go, was third with 10 laps to go, and overtook Larson for second place two laps later. He had nearly caught Hamlin when the caution flew with seven laps to go that sent the field down pit road for overtime. The nine drivers who came off pit road in front of Truex had all taken two tires.

“I don’t know, just frustrating,” Truex said. “We were looking really good until that last caution, as always. I don’t know what we need to do to close one out, but the guys did a good job with our Auto-Owners Camry. We were in position to steal one there.

“(We) definitely had the best car, but fought hard all night, made good decisions and made the car better and better. That was great, but always stinks when you see the lead and can’t get it.”

Truex finished seventh in the first stage and fifth in the second stage. He did not lead a lap in Sunday’s race.

Story originally appeared on Racer