By: Pete Pistone – @PPistone | MRN.com on April 24, 2016 | 6:00 P.M. EST
A vibration sent Truex to pit road just last the halfway mark of the race. (Photo: Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr. rebounded from an unscheduled pit stop to finish ninth in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
The Furniture Row Racing driver started 22nd and made his way into the top 10 following a Lap 87 green flag pit stop. That got derailed when a vibration sent him to pit road just last the halfway mark of the race around the .75-mile short track.
The loose right-rear wheel – due to a jammed lug nut – forced Truex to pit, which pushed him back to 20th in track position.
“That (loose wheel) was unfortunate,” Truex said. “But the guys in the pits made a good recovery when we needed it most.”
There was a rebound from his pit crew on the remaining stops on pit road for service and Truex Jr. gained positions later in the race when coming in for service.
“We weren’t great today, but we battled as a team to collect a top 10,” Truex said. “Everyone sucked it up and made a contribution. It’s a fine line from having a decent or bad day.
“Everyone was fighting the slippery track. It was great for the fans and television viewers, but for the drivers it was a challenge. I was sliding all around with no forward drive. It was difficult to make up time when the tires got hot. At times we were pretty good, but didn’t have the consistency to run closer to the front.”
The result was Truex’s fourth top 10 in the first nine races. He remains 10th in the Sprint Cup Series points.