Martin Truex Jr. has never won at one of NASCAR’s short tracks.
He came close Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Truex was in contention nearly all race long but 67 laps from the end it all came apart.
Kyle Busch, who had issues of his own and had fought back from two laps down, was looking for second when he made contact with Truex exiting turn 4; the Toyota of Truex was sent spinning into the inside wall then into the outside wall in turn 1 collecting the car of JJ Yeley.
Truex was able to roll to his pit box, but his race was done. An obviously frustrated Truex was scored 30th with a DNF.
“It’s just Bristol,” said Truex. “Trying to get that first short track win. This place has been so hard on us. I mean I can’t even explain it to you how good we’ve run here in the past three or four years and crap like this happens every single time. It’s like just one thing after another. Sucks that it happened, but at the end of the day it’s racing at Bristol.
”He (Busch) probably could’ve shown a little bit more patience. He was a lot faster than me at that point in time. He just caught me and probably another lap or so he would’ve gone right by. Half his fault and half my fault for following the 14 (Clint Bowyer) for so long.”
Busch crashed a few laps later and fell out of contention for the win finishing 20th three laps down.
“Totally my fault, man, I feel terrible about that,” Busch said of the contact. “Obviously I just misjudged it by a little bit – four inches, six inches, whatever and I got in the gas and was coming up off the corner and was going to slide in behind him (Truex Jr.) and I didn’t think I was next to him yet and I clipped him and sent him for a whale of a ride. Hopefully, he’s alright and everything is okay there. I hated that I clipped him, I know he could have had a good shot to win the race too.”