Martin Truex Jr. came into the final Round of 16 with momentum after collecting two of the three wins in the first round. Coming into the Charlotte Roval Truex was looking to sweep the entire round for the first time in his career.
Things were looking great for the No. 19 team until final practice on Saturday afternoon. Truex’s Toyota Camary engine expired in the backstretch chicane, forcing Truex and his team to change the motor and sending the team to a backup car.
The disappointment carried over to Sunday’s race where the New Jersey native missed the chicane and had to stop the on the front stretch. From there, the team struggled in the race trying to play pit strategy to gain track position. Truex was unable to get any top-10 stage finishes and wound up a disappointing seventh-place finish after winning the first two races in the Round of 16.
“It was up and down for sure,” Truex said to PRN Radio. “To start from the back like that, get penalized from the beginning for avoiding a wreck for missing the chicane is pretty stupid. Started way behind there, made our way up to second. Just didn’t have a good enough car or to take the lead. Then I just got really lose at the end. We probably should have got tires, but we didn’t expect all those cautions at the end.”
Truex will be seeded in the second position, five points behind his teammate Kyle Busch.