By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
The championship dream came to an end for Ryan Truex despite a fourth-place finish in the TheHouse.com 225. Truex entered Chicagoland Speedway seven points behind Ben Rhodes, the only driver not locked into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs.
Truex ran up front in the No. 16 ADVICS / AISIN Toyota Tundra all night long as did his rival, Rhodes. The duo were never far apart, Rhodes often running just one or two spots behind Truex. When the checkered flag waved, they were tied for eighth in points. Rhodes won the Playoff berth on a tie breaker in part due to a second-place finish at Pocono Raceway earlier in the season. Truex’s best finish was third, right behind Rhodes that weekend.
Truex started the night off with a bang, earning his first career pole and winning the first stage of the race. Even those 10 extra points were not enough as Rhodes never let Truex out of his sight. He kept his nose clean all night long, staying ahead of the trouble.
Truex took to Twitter to say that he gave it his all and that there was still more to prove,
— Ryan Truex (@Ryan_Truex) September 16, 2017
At multiple points in the race it looked as if Truex had the advantage over Rhodes. During a round of pit stops, Rhodes was penalized for an uncontrolled tire. Shortly thereafter, Matt Crafton, Rhodes’ ThorSport Racing teammate broke loose and clipped Rhodes, creating a tire rub. Luckily for Rhodes, the rub cleared itself over the ensuing laps.
This was Truex’s sixth top-five and 10th top-10 finish of the 2017 season. He falls from sixth in the Championship Standings to ninth after the those in the Playoffs are re-seeded in the top eight positions.
Although Truex and his Hattori Racing Enterprises team are no longer racing for a Championship, they can still play the role of Playoff spoiler as they attempt to reach victory lane for the first time.