Martin Truex Jr. led 72 laps in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway Sunday afternoon and looked to be a real contender for his second title. But he could not get around eventual champion Kyle Larson, whose pit crew got him out first for a restart with 25 laps remaining.
The veteran Truex was leading at the time of the caution, but came out of the pits second for the restart and was just unable to catch Larson in those closing laps to attempt a pass.
It marks the third time in the last four years the 2017 series champion has finished runner-up for the title.
“Second hurts, I’m not going to lie,” said Truex, 40, driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. “But that’s racing as they say.”
“Three years we were right there and had a car capable of winning and for whatever reason it didn’t go the way we needed it to,” Truex added. “At the end there was just not enough speed to get to the 5 car [Larson] and around them.
“They did a great job and had a great season. Congrats to them. We’ll come back and try next year.”
Truex earned four victories this season, 13 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!