Support from peers “means a lot” to Truex

Photo by Todd Warshaw / NASCAR via Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr. leads Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick at Pocono Raceway Sunday.




By Justin Melillo
Staff Reporter
June 8, 2015
jmelillo@theracingexperts.net

 

 

LONG POND, Pa.—It was evident Martin Truex Jr.’s victory at Pocono on Sunday was a popular win among his competitors. Among the drivers to praise Truex included long-time friend Dale Earnhardt Jr.


“I’m just happy for him,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I know he’s been through a lot of stuff both inside the car and outside the car the last several years. He’s been able to get into a good opportunity with good people. He’s got a team that believes in him.”

 

The victory snapped a 69-race winless streak for Truex, dating back to Sonoma in June 2013. Truex Jr. ensured his team a spot in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup as the tenth different winner in 14 races.


Photo by Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images via NASCAR

Martin Truex Jr. applies his winner's decal to his No. 78 machine in victory lane at Pocono Raceway.


Truex Jr. led a race high 97 of the 160 laps, and thanks to his crew chief, Cole Pearn, they made the right calls to be up front in the final quarter of the race. Truex talked about how strong his car was on restarts.

 

“We had the right gear ratios today for that and I was fortunately able to do what I needed to do there,” he said. “Had a good shove from the 22 once, which helped, and honestly, once we were able to put some cars between us and the 4 car, that's when I really just kind of settled in and got real comfortable because I knew he was the guy we were racing for the win.”

 

Furniture Row Racing will be a part of the Chase field for the second time in three seasons.

 

 

THROUGH THE FIELD


Kevin Harvick posted his eighth runner-up finish of the 2015 season. Harvick described the result as being “frustrated in a good way.”

 

“I think everybody is probably frustrated that we didn't win, but I think it's frustrated in a good way,” he said. “It's very rare that you can come to the racetrack and be in those positions every week… I think second is better than tenth. It's a frustration that's good in a way, and you want to be frustrated because we're not winning, but in the end, you also don't want to be greedy, either.”



Photo by  Todd Warshaw / Getty Images via NASCAR

Jimmie Johnson leads Matt Kenseth at Pocono Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson fought back from a flat left front tire, just after halfway, to take home a third place finish at the “Tricky Triangle”. Johnson picked up his ninth top-five effort of 2014.

 

“With the damaged car we ran third, missing half the splitter and the right side knocked in, some hard racing on one of those restarts off turn three,” he said. “To get a good result, we overcame a lot today, having to deal with a flat tire, the damage to the car, and then I got to third.

 

“We'll take it. Scrappy day for us, but not the end of the world, either.”

 

It was also an up and down day for past Pocono winners like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joey Logano. Earnhardt Jr. found his way to the front, but fell back after having to pit to fix damage received by contact with teammate Kasey Kahne.

 

Logano was forced to start at the rear of the field after changing the rear end before the race. After a speeding penalty on the first round of stops, Logano back to finish fourth for his second consecutive top-five effort at the track.

 

The race saw 8 cautions for 31 laps, four of which came in the final 40 laps. Danica Patrick, Ryan Newman, and AJ Allmendinger had possible top-ten showing dashed with various on-track incidents.


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