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Ryan Truex, driver of the No. 16 Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Toyota Tundra, earned his second-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole and finished 12th in the Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Truex’s pole run in Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session earned him his second pole award in the last three races and led the field to the green flag Saturday evening's 146-lap contest at LVMS.
Truex was out in front of an accident on the opening lap, and lined up fifth when the race restarted on lap seven. While battling a tight handling condition, Truex ran inside the top six throughout Stage 1. By the end of the opening stage on lap 35, Truex advanced to fourth and collected seven points. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli brought Truex to pit road under the ensuing caution flag and gave him four fresh tires with air pressure adjustments to improve the handling condition.
On the subsequent restart at lap 42, Truex narrowly avoided a multi-truck accident on the frontstretch. However, the team noticed smoke trailing from Truex’s No. 16 Toyota Tundra during the caution flag. After the race, the Hattori Racing Enterprises team found an issue with the transmission which hampered Truex’s ability to get through the gears on restarts. When the race restarted on lap 48, Truex solidified himself as a contender despite the intermittent smoke, and ran inside the top six through the remainder of Stage 2. At the conclusion of Stage 2 on lap 70, Truex collected another seven points in fourth position and came to pit road under the caution period for four tires and fuel.
Truex restarted fourth on lap 78 to begin the final segment, and wasted no time racing towards the front. Despite a loose condition in dirty air, Truex marched his way to second by lap 103 and began to reel in the race leader. A round of green flag stops began with Truex pitting on lap 123, and further closed the gap on the race leader during the pit cycle. An ill-fated caution flag waved lap 133 and bunched up the field for a late-race restart on lap 140. Truex restarted third, and was to the transmission issue was shuffled to fifth by lap 144 due to the transmission issue. While racing for the fourth position, contact from the No. 98 truck sent Truex’s machine out of the groove and into the Turn 2 wall. The damage relegated Truex out of contention and he was credited with a 12th-place finish, one lap down.
Ryan Truex Quote:
“We were close again tonight. Winning the pole showed how strong this team is and the quality of Toyota Tundras we bring to the racetrack each week. We had really good speed, especially on the longer runs, but the transmission issue really hurt us on restarts and I had to work just to gain that ground back later in the run. Zippy (Scott Zipadelli) called a great race again, and had us in contention at the end. I really wish that last caution didn’t come out, because we were probably going to finish second again. It was special to have the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation on the truck tonight and I wanted to give it a good finish. The result isn’t at all what we’ve been looking for, but we’re one of the trucks to beat each week, so it’s nice to at least be in position.”


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