Truex Finishes Sixth After Sweeping Stages

by Tucker White On Sun, Jun. 18, 2017

BROOKLYN, Mich. - JUNE 18: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, and Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Cars 3/Target Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 18, 2017 in Brooklyn, Michigan. Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr.’s quest to sweep a second race this season came up short when he faltered on a late restart in the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

He took the lead for the first time on lap 34 and drove on to win the first stage. He found himself without the lead, however, when Kyle Larson exited pit road with it under the stage break caution.

It took him roughly 50 laps to return to the lead when he passed Larson exiting Turn 4 on lap 116 and took the second stage victory. This time around, he left pit road retaining the lead.

Truex had the race in check, but then caution flew with 50 laps to go when Ryan Sieg spun out in Turn 4, and right in front of Truex.

He left pit road fifth, behind Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Blaney, who all took two tires.

On the ensuing restart, Truex stumbled and fell back to ninth in the running order.

When the checkered flag flew, he was sixth.

“We had the best car out there without a doubt – just inside lane restarts at the end killed us, so just stinks when you have to race like that, you know? You get just in a bad spot and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Truex said. “We seen it the last couple restarts, so just wrong place. Probably should have took two tires that last time we pitted – we took four. That killed us. Just wrong lane on the restart every single time all day long and couldn’t use the best car to win.”

He leaves Michigan second in points, five back of Larson. He’s led 938 laps, the most of any driver this season and halfway to matching his 2016 total. His two stage wins puts him at 10 on the season, the most of any driver.

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