Martin Truex Jr. ‘Surprised’ to Finish 2nd at Richmond Despite Consistent Run in NASCAR Cup Series

Published 09/14/2020, 6:00 AM EDT


After finishing in 2nd place in the second NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race at the Richmond Raceway, many would think that Martin Truex Jr. lived up to the fans’ expectations.

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In the opening Playoffs race, Truex Jr. dominated proceedings for the most part, despite finishing 22nd in the final few laps. However, the driver himself was quite surprised by the result.

“I was really surprised that we ran second with how it felt early in the race. I was like, ‘Oh boy, this is going to be a long night’,” Truex Jr. said after the race.

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Why Martin Truex Jr. was surprised to finish 2nd

Speaking about why he felt that way, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said, “It was slow on the short run early and slow on the long run late. Somewhere in between, we would be pretty competitive, but we just never could really put it all together.”

Martin Truex Jr. registered his fourth straight Top-3 finish at the track which includes two wins. A second-place result does justice to his recent run of form at Richmond. But Truex Jr. believes the track posed a different challenge this time around.

Obviously, quite a different deal with this tire. It felt a lot different to me and the things that were really good the past few years, I couldn’t do them. Needed a little practice time, maybe needed another stab at it,” Truex Jr. said on the matter.

Sep 12, 2020; Richmond, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) races during the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports | Credit: Reuters

What he needs to do to progress in NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs

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The 40-year-old driver currently stands in fifth place in the overall Playoffs standings. The next race is an elimination race this weekend at Bristol. All Truex Jr. needs to do to ensure safe passage into the next round is finish 16th or higher.

This scenario might put Truex Jr. at ease to some extent. But Truex Jr. usually likes to take things as they come. “We’re just gonna there and race, and see what happens. There’s no sense in making yourself crazy all week when it has no bearing on the outcome,” Truex Jr. admitted.

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Truex Jr. has eight Top-three finishes in his last 10 starts. Victory lane is a distant dream for the 40-year-old driver, and the experienced campaigner will hope it comes at just the right time as the Playoffs battle intensifies.

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Aayush Majumdar

991 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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