The bottom lane means bad bottom line for Martin Truex Jr.

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 17: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 17, 2017 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, Mich. – For much of Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. appeared likely to sweep the proceedings.

He won the first two 60-lap stages, and he likely had the strongest car in the race. Unfortunately, Truex lined up fifth, fifth, ninth and seventh for the final four restarts of the race—all in the bottom lane where grip through Turns 1 and 2 was almost impossible to find.

“We had the best car out there without a doubt,” Truex said. “Just inside lane restarts at the end killed us, so it just stinks when you have to race like that, you know? You get just in a bad spot, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

“We saw it the last couple restarts, so just wrong place. Probably should have took two tires that last time we pitted – we took four. That killed us. Just wrong lane on the restart every single time all day long and couldn’t use the best car to win.”

Truex led 62 laps, second only to race winner Kyle Larson’s 96, but finished sixth and lost the series lead to Larson by five points.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.