Furniture Row Driver Still in Chase Hunt
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 18, 2015) — Martin Truex Jr. fought back from a pit-road penalty to finish 15th in Sunday’s roller coaster Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.
Before the penalty Truex was solidly running in the top-10. But when he came in for a green flag four-tire stop on Lap 213 of 269, a tire that was being replaced rolled outside the pit box boundary line, which led NASCAR to issue a pass-through penalty. After Truex made his pass-through penalty with a return trip down pit road, he fell a lap down and was positioned in the low 20s.
“It was a tough day,” said Truex. “We were in good shape before the penalty. We fought hard on the car all day and got much better right when we got the penalty. We were fast at the end, but not enough time to get back up there.”
Truex made a nice comeback to finish 15th in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet. He did get back on the lead lap, but only for the two-lap green-white-checkered finish.
Though there was disappointment with the finish for the single-car team, the good news is that Truex is still in the thick of the playoff battle as the Contender Round of the Chase concludes next week at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with eight of the 12 drivers advancing to the Chase’s Eliminator Round.
Truex is eighth in the Chase standings, one point from fifth and six ahead of ninth.
“We’re still alive,” crew chief Cole Pearn radioed Truex after he took the checkered flag. “Considering what happened today I guess it could have been worse. We’re still on the plus side heading to Talladega.”
Truex, who started seventh, fought through some handling issues but was still able to maintain a steady pace in the top-10, until the penalty.
“This Chase format is tough, really tough,” said Truex. “It will be a battle next week in Talladega.”
The Hollywood Casino 400 race winner was: Joey Logano. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon.
There were 21 lead changes among nine drivers and seven cautions for 38 laps.
Chase Point Standings
1. Joey Logano 3095 points
2. Denny Hamlin, 3082
3. Kurt Busch, 3077
4. Carl Edwards, 3076
5. Kevin Harvick, 3071
6. Jeff Gordon, 3071
7. Brad Keselowski, 3071
8. Martin Truex Jr., 3070
9. Kyle Busch, 3064
10. Ryan Newman, 3062
11. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 3039
12. Matt Kenseth, 3035