FORT WORTH, Texas – All good things must come to an end – just ask Martin Truex Jr.
Truex was running second in Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, albeit 12 seconds behind then-leader Kevin Harvick – when his right front tire blew and sent the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota rocketing into the outside wall in Turn 4.
The violent wreck on Lap 80, just five laps short of the end of the first stage, knocked Truex out of the race in 37th place. That ended an enviable streak of 10 straight top-five finishes on Truex’s bread-and-butter tracks, the 1.5-mile intermediate speedways.
Truex had experienced no tire issues before the sudden flat.
“Just blew a right-front tire out of nowhere,” Truex said. “Not sure what happened there – if we ran something over or what. I think the first set of tires that came off the car looked great. We were just making our way towards the front. Would’ve been nice to have at least finished that first stage before it happened, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes…
“All in all, we were going to be in for a good day. We were making the car better and still had room to go. We were as fast as anybody. At least that’s a positive, and we’ll go on to next week (at Bristol) and see what we can do.”
Truex’s streak of top fives at intermediate tracks dated to the first Kansas race of 2017. Six of his top fives were victories, and over those 10 races, he posted an average finish of 2.0.