“It was a battle to get what we should’ve got, but we ended up getting it,” Martin Truex Jr. told NBCSN on pit road after the Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway – and that fairly well summed up his race.
After failing inspection on Saturday, Truex’s 12th-place qualifying time was disallowed. He was one of four drivers who incurred the penalty and, based on owner points, he lined up 36th.
He was in the top 10 by lap 20 and kept coming – ending Stage 1 in third place.
“Early on, we were really strong, drove up to the front really quick,” Truex said. “I thought we were really going to have something for these guys. We lost it in that second run. We lost front turn. It just got tighter consistently throughout the day. We just could never get it to turn again.”
Despite battling a tight condition, Truex still managed to finish fourth at the end of Stage 2.
But it was the problem from Saturday that plagued him most. When he was forced to give up his qualification time, his pit stall was assigned by NASCAR (per the rule book) among those available pit stalls.
“We fought track position really bad,” Truex said. “Our pit stall was absolutely horrendous with (Larson) behind us. … We kind of got that spot by default.”
On the heels of back-to-back wins at Chicagoland, Truex had to settle for his third consecutive top-five finish on this track.
“Ultimately we got back to fourth and we were a fourth-place car.”