Truex calls roof flap infraction an "odd" situation

Martin Truex Jr. doesn’t believe the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team will “miss a step” if and when crew chief Cole Pearn serves his one-race suspension due to an infraction discovered in pre-race inspection last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Truex calls roof flap infraction an "odd" situation
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Listen to this article

That ‘when’ could be as early as next week at Phoenix International Raceway. 

NASCAR officials weren’t happy with the roof flap assembly on the No. 78 car — which failed inspection two races in a row. 

I think he’s a bit frustrated ... People in the garage area talk and he feels like, ‘Do people really think I’m stupid enough after what happened at Daytona to try to pull something on NASCAR in the same area?’

Martin Truex Jr. on crew chief Cole Pearn

Neither the incident at Daytona or Atlanta affected Truex’s performance in the race. He finished second in the Daytona 500 and seventh on Sunday at Atlanta after leading 34 laps. 

However, Truex is currently eighth in the point standings after being docked 15 championship points after NASCAR penalized the team under section 20.4.7.6 a in the rulebook on Wednesday.

Not your standard violation

“This situation is kind of an odd one,” Truex said. “It’s not like we were trying to pull something over on somebody. This was a case where something happened and they don’t really understand. 

“I’ll let the team go through the appeal process and do what they have to do. At the end of the day, we raced Atlanta without any issues. We obviously had a fast car and very competitive day on the race track. I’m just really looking forward to continuing that today. I’ll let the team figure out that side of things and do my job this weekend.”

Truex, who is coming off of a career-best season in Sprint Cup last year — including his top career qualifying effort (eighth) and finish (second) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, said on Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway the No. 78 team needs no additional motivation in the wake of the infraction. 

Pearn frustrated by garage talk

“We come to the race track every weekend with that kind of mentality,” Truex said. “From that side of it, it’s not a big deal. From Cole’s side, I think he’s a bit frustrated from how it went down, which is understandable. I think people in the garage area talk and he feels like, ‘Do people really think I’m stupid enough after what happened at Daytona to try to pull something on NASCAR in the same area?’

“He’s a little frustrated by that side of it, but at the same time, being it’s a safety issue, it’s really a big deal to figure out exactly how it all happened. Figure out how to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. We’ll go through the appeals process.”

Or maybe not. 

Appealing the penalty unwise?

It might not be in the team’s best interest to appeal an infraction that NASCAR considers a safety issue. There’s enough on Furniture Row Racing’s plate this season after changing manufacturers in the off-season.

Although Truex piloted at Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2013, for the last two seasons, Truex raced a Chevy with Furniture Row. While Truex is familiar with Toyota Racing Development after driving the No. 56 Camry for four years, he acknowledged the transition for FRR included plenty of overtime for his team, the manufacturer and Joe Gibbs Racing, who Furniture Row shares a technical alliance with. 

“The switch to Toyota involved a lot of work, it involved a lot of overtime and a lot of effort by everybody involved,” Truex said. “It’s been a very busy offseason. We’ve been really pleased with how things have started off. Obviously Daytona was a really good race for us and Atlanta, the first downforce race with the low downforce package went really well – we had a really fast race car all weekend and we challenged for the win all the way up to the end. 

“It’s gone well so far, probably even better than expected out of the gate. I’m just proud of everyone for all the efforts and all the work that has went in. We had a good test yesterday and looking forward to seeing what we can do here this weekend.”

shares
comments
Edwards tops Saturday morning practice in backup car
Previous article

Edwards tops Saturday morning practice in backup car

Next article

Matt Kenseth fastest in Sprint Cup final practice

Matt Kenseth fastest in Sprint Cup final practice
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021