Martin Truex Jr.‘s winning strategy at Watkins Glen involved doing something that made him uncomfortable: letting his competitors pass him.
Truex said after winning Sunday’s race that is was hard to let drivers like Ryan Blaney pass him as he dramatically slowed his car to save fuel.
The feeling was shared on NASCAR America by Parker Kligerman, who detailed all the things a driver must deal with when they are trying to save fuel, which includes yielding positions to the enemy.
“You’re having to let cars go by you,” Kligerman said. “Which is the most unnatural thing in the world for a race car driver, is to let other drivers pass you and then hope that they’ll come back at the end. .. At the end of the day it is a massive guessing game for a lot of it, until it all works out.”
And it worked out for Truex, who Slugger Labbe knew would win once Truex was told by his team to flip a blue switch when he received the white flag.
“It’s a fuel reserve box they have in the fuel cell, it hold about 8/10ths of a gallon, which at Watkins Glen will just about buy you a lap,” Labbe said. “When I heard that I knew it was game over.”
Watch the video for more on the challenges of conserving fuel.