CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Maybe it’s a good thing Martin Truex Jr. didn’t see his car removed from the grid minutes before the start of Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover.
NASCAR inspectors had noticed a problem with the right rear wheel well of Truex’s No. 78 Chevrolet, ushered the car back through the inspection line and made the team fix the issue so that the car conformed to the templates.
“I didn’t even see it, actually,” Truex told the NASCAR Wire Service. “I was at driver intros, and Marty Snider from NBC was like, ‘Hey, your car’s not out here.’ I looked at (Ryan) Newman, and he was like, ‘Yeah, I just walked by it on the way out here.
“But then I saw on TV that it was back in the garage, and I was like, ‘That’s not good.’
But Truex didn’t let the distraction upset him.
“It actually wasn’t as bad as you think,” Truex said. “I felt really good about the race car going into the race. I obviously felt really good about Dover—I always do—something about that track just gives me a lot of confidence.
“They were like, ‘You’ve got to go to the rear.’ I said, ‘No worries. We’ll be fine.’ If anything, it made me more focused. I was kind of mad about it for a minute, but it was just, ‘You know what you’ve got to do. Just go do it.’ And we did it.”
Truex rallied for an 11th-place finish to advance to the Contender Round of the Chase.