JOLIET, Ill.–One driver who wasn’t thrilled with Jeff Gordon’s addition to the Chase was Martin Truex Jr., who lost his Chase spot Monday after he and the organization that fields his cars, Michael Waltrip Racing, were penalized heavily by NASCAR for attempted manipulation of the outcome at Richmond.
A 50-point penalty to Truex, assessed before the Chase field was set, elevated Ryan Newman into the Chase as the second wild card and knocked Truex out of that spot.
“I’m not even sure what to say at this point, to be honest with you,” Truex said Friday, after learning of Gordon’s inclusion in the Chase field. “I’m kind of at a loss for words… how they make a spot for somebody…
“They kick me out to make a spot for somebody, and then they don’t do the same for the other guys. It’s just unfair–and nothing I can do about it.”
Truex and Gordon do share one thing. They both have incentive to perform over the next 10 races. Interestingly, Truex led the first Sprint Cup practice session Saturday with a lap at 182.383 mph. Who was second? Gordon at 182.328 mph.