Martin Truex Jr. thought he had the Championship 4 race won—until a late caution intervened and gave Joey Logano the chance he needed to deny Truex a second straight title.
“No question,” Truex said. “If it wasn’t for a bad pit stop on the (earlier) green-flag stop… we had a straightaway lead at that point. We were running those guys (leader Kevin Harvick) down really fast.
“I had already passed the 22 (Logano) for second, and I was catching the 4 car (Harvick) three or four tenths (of a second) a lap. I mean, it wasn’t going to take long—but it doesn’t really matter now, does it?”
Truex didn’t have the fastest car last year, but he managed to hold off Kyle Busch in the championship race.
“It’s hard to get completely devastated about a race working out that way,” said Truex, who will be driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019. “We did all we could do. We put ourselves in position, made the right decisions.
“The year before, we were the second-best car. Kyle had it won, and the pit strategy—the way we played it out—we caught the caution at the right time and got the lead and were able to hold him off. So it’s like you win one you maybe shouldn’t have, and you lose one you maybe shouldn’t have. They kind of even out.”