At the New Hampshire Motors Speedway, Team Toyota had a successful trip because they were able to claim both the pole position and the race victories. Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 vehicle started on the pole, but Christopher Bell’s No. 20 car gave them the victory they had been after for the past several Cup races. Bell’s convincing victory against Chase Elliott, who finished in second place ahead of Bubba Wallace at P3, was the team’s icing on the cake.
Kevin Harvick, one of the track’s strongest cup racers, finished in fifth place, earning him the day’s top-finishing Ford while Martin Truex Jr. came in fourth. With a seventh-place result behind Denny Hamlin at P6, Brad Keselowski had his strongest season performance, while the Trackhouse team once more placed in the top 10 as Ross Chastain finished P8 ahead of teammate Daniel Suarez at P9, as Kurt Busch capped off the top 10.
The day was all about the impressive performance put forth by Martin Truex Jr. up front as he was definitely on the way to securing his first win of the season and clinching the playoff spot starting from pole, his first ever career pole in the cup series race with qualifying sessions. He topped the first two stages of the race and was the spearhead of Toyota’s dominance on the track as he led 172 laps in the race.
Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, and Bubba Wallace were able to finish ahead of the front runners following a smart pit to move in which all three changed all four of their tires while Truex’s No:19 team changed only two tires. This along with the bad final restart he had because of the position he was in the win just slipped away from him.
Find out what Martin Truex Jr. said on the race results
Talking about the race martin Truex Jr. acknowledged that the bad position in the resort and the two-tire strategy turn out to cost him the win at NHMS. He pointed out that he got stuck behind Joey Logano on the inside going three wides at the restart and though he tried to shove him off Kevin Harvick making it three wides put made it worse. He acknowledged that he should have got four tires instead of two as it was bad racing with two in terms of pace.
“Just put on two tires and got in a bad spot on the restart. I got put three-wide and the 22 (Joey Logano) didn’t get going and I was on the inside behind him. I tried to shove him to get him going and get us going and (Kevin) Harvick made it three-wide and put us in a bad spot. And just my car was terrible on two tires and couldn’t go anywhere. Just should have put four tires on I guess,” Martin Truex Jr. said.
Martin Truex Jr. went on to point out that he had the car to go for the victory lumber at New Hampshire but just screwed up the opportunity. He went on to congratulate his JGR teammate Christopher Bell for the win as the No:20 team was smarter towards the end of the race though he is disappointed and frustrated about the result.
“We had the car to do it, we just screwed it up. It’s frustrating and disappointing, but congrats to the 20 (Christopher Bell). Obviously, they were smarter than we were at the end,” Martin Truex Jr. added.
Going into the upcoming race in the Pocono Raceway Martin Truex Jr. will be hoping that everything will playout out for him at the upcoming race as with 14 race winners this season there is two spots left in the playoff for winless drivers which he and Ryan Blaney occupy. Truex Jr. is just one new race winner away from missing out on the playoffs, which seems very likely to happen if he isn’t the new winner.