Late pit call at Texas extends Truex’s streak of top-10 finishes
“Mr. Consistency” is starting to become Martin Truex Jr.’s middle name.
By finishing ninth in Saturday’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Truex extended his string of top-10 finishes to seven in a row to start the 2015 season.
That’s two more top 10s than the Furniture Row Racing driver had for all of the 2014 season.
And while ninth was his worst of 2015, Truex remains third in the Sprint Cup standings (40 points behind series leader Kevin Harvick and 14 behind Joey Logano).
“Top 10s are never easy, but tonight this one was a little more difficult,” Truex said. “We hung in there and came through in the end.
“For a while it didn’t look like we were going to get there. But we did, and it’s another indication about how this team never quits and battles right to the finish.”
Truex spent most of the 500-mile race in the top 10, but his streak was in jeopardy before the final pit stop.
Like several other drivers, including Jamie McMurray (sixth) and Jeff Gordon (seventh), Truex took only two tires after the final caution on Lap 310 of 334.
Crew chief Cole Pearn felt the gamble would be worth it, and it proved spot-on, as Truex rallied from 14th.
“We needed track position and took a chance by taking two tires,” Pearn said. “Martin kept the car in the top 10 in the closing laps to give us another solid finish.”
Truex said track position was a problem for much of the race, but Pearn’s call on the final pit stop was the difference.
“We fought track position a lot and had a little trouble on pit road a few times,” Truex said. “That hurt us a bit.
“At the end, we had to start doing some strategy stuff to get our track position back. It was still a top 10, so all in all, it was a good night for us.”