By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Martin Truex Jr.’s hopes to return to Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway evaporated in the early stages of the Pennsylvania 400.
The polesitter’s No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota hit the wall on lap 20, moments after a restart following the competition caution.
After leading the opening 16 laps, Truex’s right front tire went flat due to a lug nut during the scheduled pit stop cutting off the valve stem for the inner liner.
“Just blew a right front (tire),” said Truex. “A lug nut bounced off the ground, fell in behind the wheel behind a pit stop. It’s just bad luck honestly.
“I knew something wasn’t right in (turn) one and two and I got real tight off of (turn) two on that restart and went down the back and was like, ‘Ah, it feels okay.’ And, as I got closer to the tunnel turn I felt it start to go down and by the time I let off and tried to slow down it was just going straight for the fence.”
Truex went behind the wall to repair damage, but returned and currently sits 38th, several laps down.