LOUDON, N.H. (July 13, 2014) – When you battle with a 110 percent effort to the bitter end, there’s always that chance of something good happening.
For Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing, the workmanlike performance paid off, as Truex picked up 10 positions in the two-lap green-white-checkered overtime finish to post a 12th-place result in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Truex struggled with restarts during the 303-lap event but poured it on when the race went green for the final time as his Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet sped forward through a cluster of cars, jumping from 22nd to 12th in track position.
“'The biggest reason we gained 12 positions on the final restart is that we had fresh tires and got in the right lane,” explained Truex. “We never had good restarts all day, but once we settled in and had a decent car we made a move at the end. You have to keep fighting -- you never know what can happen. That was a good move to come in for two tires during that last caution.”
Truex, who gained three spots – from 26th to 23rd in driver points, added, “The good news is that we came back with a respectable finish, but still not where we want to be.”
Crew chief Todd Berrier was also pleased with the race-ending effort.
“Restarts didn’t go our way until the end when Martin passed all those cars to make it a decent day instead of disappointing day.”
Truex started ninth and ran in the top-10 early in the race, but then fell back due to grip issues. It appeared he was going to make a move to the top-10 following a Lap 248 caution but his No. 78 Chevy got tangled due to close racing on the 1.058-mile flat track. The incident sent him back in the pack to 23rd place.
“We dropped back late in the race after getting involved with a couple of cars,” said Truex. “I then put myself in a bad position, which was costly in regards to track position."
The race winner was Brad Keselowski. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The race had seven cautions for 35 laps and there were 18 lead changes among nine drivers.
The Sprint Cup Series has next weekend off. The schedule resumes on Sunday July 27 in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.