Martin Truex Jr. and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway haven’t exactly been best buds. His best finish here was 4th back in 2015, his only top five finish at the storied Brickyard. Beyond that he had never finished inside the top 10 when the series came into this long weekend.
With no practice or qualifying all weekend Truex and his crew got their first laps on track when the green fell Monday. During the pace laps, Truex reported his brake pedal was “mushy”.
It turned out to be an ominous omen.
After being forced to start at the rear after his car failed pre-race inspection, on lap 40 Truex went to brake entering turn 1. The left front brake rotor exploded with enough force to buckle the hood.
Truex limped to pit road and then to the garage, done for the day.
“I thought I blew a tire initially going into (turn) one there,” Truex said. “I was like ‘oh this is going to hurt’, but the car kept turning luckily and I was able to keep it off the wall.”
“As hard as it is to pass here, we were getting there making our way to the front,” he added. “I felt like any time we had clean air, we had really good speed. Wish we could have raced all day and seen what we could have done with them.”
Truex was scored 40th, the first car out of the race.
He is firmly into the playoffs, but with five finishes outside top 10 in last six races, has very little momentum as the playoffs start in less than a week.
“Hopefully we’ll get this bad luck out of the way before the playoffs and we’ll go get them in Vegas,” Truex said.
Truex might want to hope for the same “bad luck” he had last year. In last year’s Brickyard 400, Truex also crashed out, however, he would go on to win the title.