Pit strategies have determined the finish in countless NASCAR races over the years.
But Sunday’s I Love New York 355 at Watkins Glen International was one that ran the gamut of pit strategies, with most playing out wrong, while one ultimately played out right for race-winner Martin Truex Jr.
Crew chief Cole Pearn had Truex save fuel for the better part of the final 15 laps. While Truex was dismayed that so many other cars would pass him during that stretch, Pearn’s call was spot-on. And in just a matter of moments, Truex went from dismayed to overjoyed.
Pit strategy for Ryan Blaney didn’t work, as he ran out of fuel with two laps left in the race (finished eighth).
Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski hoped to make it to the finish but realized with two laps he was going to come up short. Ergo, enter pit road for a splash and go (finished 15th).
Ditto for pole-sitter Kyle Busch, who also had to pit late when it appeared he wouldn’t have enough fuel to make it to the finish (finished seventh).