By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Despite winning the second stage of the Chevrolet Silverado 250, Ryan Truex is now on the outside, looking in for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. Truex, who finished fifth, was bumped from the Playoffs, when Austin Cindric took the checkered flag, with just one race left to get in.
Truex ran up front all race long even though many teams were on different strategies. For just the second time this season, he picked up a stage win in Stage 2 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Truex also finished seventh in the first stage at the 10-turn, 2.459-mile road course.
One reason for Truex’s top-five finish was the lack of mistakes he and his Hattori Racing Enterprises No. 16 Don Valley North Toyota / Weins Canada Toyota Tundra team. Unlike several of his competitors, his Hattori Racing Enterprises team had flawless pit stops throughout the race. Eventual race winner Cindric was penalized for taking equipment out of the box, John Hunter Nemechek and Justin Haley were also penalized for speeding on pit road.
Truex thinks that had the final restart gone better, he could have contended for the win,
“The last restart, I just got hung up with the 8 (John Hunter Nemechek) truck. I think I had a truck that could have at least competed for a win, especially when those guys were racing up there. I just lost too much time on the restart and couldn’t make it up. It was a strong run, we got a stage win and we’re proving we deserve to be in the Playoffs. I don’t know how all this is going to shake out. We’re a team that’s capable of putting up a fight for a championship and hopefully after Chicago we get to do that.”
Truex gained 10 Championship Points and one Playoff Point for his Stage 2 win. He entered the race North of the border with a nine-point lead over the cutoff and is now seven points behind the cutoff, held by fellow Toyota Racing driver Ben Rhodes. In the Championship Standings, Truex is sixth in points, 136 points behind points leader Christopher Bell.
This was the fifth top-five and ninth top-10 finish for Truex this season. Now Truex and his Hattori Racing Enterprises team will look to earn a Playoff berth at Chicagoland Speedway in two weeks.