By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
A top-five finish has been a long time coming for NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Ryan Truex. He finally broke through to finish inside the top-five for the first time since 2012 in the Rock N Roll Tequila 170 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
In the chaotic run to the finish, Truex had to hold off the bulk of the field while on older tires. While Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, and Matt Tifft slipped by his No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Camaro SS, he held off Elliott Sadler and Cole Custer. Truex kept his car on the pavement in the final six laps, taking the checkered flag in fifth.
Truex’s race on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course was up and down from the start. He stayed on track in stage one to end the stage in third. In the second stage, he spun off course, the car unscathed. Truex also had to avoid getting collected in incidents involving Chase Briscoe and Tyler Reddick.
“It was good,” Truex said of his day. “We stayed out there at the end, were fifth or sixth, and everybody behind us pitted. I thought, ‘we’re screwed now, the whole field’s got tires.’ We were good enough to hold them off. I was just really loose that last run, so I was just trying to maintain my gap with the 2 and the 9. I stayed in fifth without over-driving or wheel-hopping. I played defense a little at the end there.”
“Our LeafFilter car was good enough and the main thing about it is that we didn’t luck into it, we ran well all day, and we had top-five speed. To be able to close it out, not make any mistakes, do everything we’re supposed to, we got the day we deserved.”
The fifth-place finish was the first top-five for Truex since his runner-up finish in the 2012 spring race at Dover International Speedway. It was also his ninth top-10 of the season.
The top-five keeps Truex eighth in the Championship Points Standings, 175-points behind Points Leader Christopher Bell. He is 142-points ahead of the cutoff for the Playoffs, held by Ross Chastain. Truex is the furthest driver up the Points Standings without any Playoff Points.
With five races remaining until the Playoffs, Truex and his Kaulig Racing team continues to look to secure their spot.