Martin Truex Jr. came into Sunday’s Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on a hot streak. The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 car had won three of the last five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events, but his bid for a second-consecutive win was dashed just before the end of Stage 2 at Pocono.
As Truex was getting ready to head to pit road for the final stop of the Stage, he felt that perhaps his car was losing power.
“Just came off the tunnel turn and it kind of sputtered a little bit. I thought maybe I was running out of gas but I could see the smoke trail,” Truex said.
As he reached pit road the smoke worsened and the team told him to cut the engine off and they pushed him behind the wall. The motor had expired in his Toyota Camry.
“I don’t know dropped a valve or broke a valve spring or something like that,” shrugged Truex. “It self destructed pretty quick, so I came right into pits. As I came down pit road I pretty much knew our day was done.”
For Truex, it was a challenging day. He had a fast car, but was mired in the pack and he was also suffering from a steering issue before the motor problems ultimately knocked him out of the event. However, Truex knows his team will be back next weekend with another good bullet.
“Definitely frustrating,” said Truex. “Bass Pro Shops Toyota was fast we just couldn’t really get any track position. We battled that. But had a good car. Knew we had steering box issues. Felt like I had somebody under there steering it for me and that’s not very fun going into the corners here. We’ll rebound from it.”