It Was A Struggle

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LONG POND, Pa. (July 29, 2018) – Brake issues and a loose-handling on the No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota plagued Martin Truex Jr. throughout the afternoon, leaving him and the Furniture Row Racing team with a 15th-place finish at Pocono Raceway.

“It was a struggle all afternoon with the brakes and we were pretty loose there for a while too,” said Truex. “We never could seem to get the handle on the Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota and it showed in where we finished. We just have to put it away and look forward to Watkins Glen.”

Truex started eighth and maintained the position on the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle until the first green-flag pit stop on Lap 25. He told crew chief Cole Pearn that the brakes were “squishy” but he maintained the eighth spot after pit stops cycled through by lap 36. A second green-flag stop on lap 47 left the No. 78 Toyota in 23rd place at the conclusion of the 50-lap first stage.

The Furniture Row Racing entry was the leader to start Stage 2 though he quickly dropped a couple of spots after making slight contact with another competitor.

Truex ran fourth from Lap 58 until pitting under green on Lap 76. It was then that debris was pulled away from the right-front brake and there was hope that the braking problems were over.

The No. 78 Toyota ran seventh for the majority of the second half of Stage 2 until Pearn called Truex to pit road on Lap 97. Trouble making an adjustment to the left-front suspension slowed the stop but the timing of the stop put the Team sixth to start the final stage.

The final 55-lap race to the checkered flag found the handling too loose and Truex slipped back to 15th by Lap 115. The handling remained an issue and the brake issue returned as well in the final 30 laps.

The race was red-flagged on the originally scheduled final lap (160) and then ran into overtime with Truex taking the checkered flag in 15th place after four overtime laps (Lap 164). (D.H/FRRpr 7/29/18)

Kyle Bush won the race. photo credit: Ron Olds (file lvms)

Pocono Raceway
Gander Outdoors 400
Sunday, July 29th 2018

1 – Kyle Busch
2 – Daniel Suarez
3 – Alex Bowman
4 – Kevin Harvick
5 – Erik Jones
6 – William Byron
7 – Chase Elliott
8 – Ryan Newman
9 – Kurt Busch
10 – Denny Hamlin
11 – Clint Bowyer
12 – Ryan Blaney
13 – Austin Dillon
14 – AJ Allmendinger
15 – Martin Truex Jr.
16 – Michael McDowell
17 – Jimmie Johnson
18 – Matt Kenseth
19 – David Ragan
20 – Jamie McMurray
21 – Paul Menard
22 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
23 – Kyle Larson
24 – Ty Dillon
25 – Aric Almirola
26 – Joey Logano
27 – Matt DiBenedetto
28 – JJ Yeley
29 – Jeffrey Earnhardt
30 – Kasey Kahne
31 – Kyle Weatherman
32 – Reed Sorenson
33 – Bubba Wallace
34 – Landon Cassill
35 – Ross Chastain
36 – Timmy Hill
37 – Chris Buescher
38 – Brad Keselowski
39 – Corey Lajoie
40 – BJ McLeod

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