Ryan Truex drove his No. 16 AISIN Group / AW North Carolina Toyota Tundra to a 13th-place finish in Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway. Through 20 events of the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series campaign, Truex remains ninth in the drivers’ championship standings.
Truex began his fifth-career NCWTS start at “The Paperclip” from the seventh position, his career best qualifying effort at Martinsville. From the drop of the green flag, Truex was cognizant of preserving his rear tires on corner exit, but had to contend with a lack of rear grip on the entry to both turns. Truex fought hard to maintain a top-five position and ended Stage 1 in the fourth position on lap 50. Under the ensuing caution period, crew chief Scott Zipadelli brought Truex to pit road for four tires and adjustments.
Truex restarted in 17th spot at the beginning of Stage 2 on lap 61 and worked his way up to 12th by the conclusion of the stage on lap 100. He dealt with a deteriorating balance throughout the 41-lap stint and pitted for two right-side tires and chassis changes under the caution flag. The abbreviated pit stop netted Truex a position on the outside of the front row at lap 112 in second place. However, the two tires, restarting on the outside lane, and a lack of overall grip relegated him to the ninth spot by lap 138. Truex pitted twice more for scuff tires under caution and lined up 17th for the final restart with 10 laps to go. He muscled his way through traffic on the lap 191 restart, and took the checkered flag in 13th position, his fourth top-15 finish in five starts at Martinsville.
Ryan Truex Quote:
“We had to dig for everything we had today. We were too free most of the day on entry and it was hard to find the roll speed in the center that we needed to be a race winning truck. It was great to have a lot of support at the track today from everyone at AW North Carolina and AISIN Group. It’s always nice to have them come out and experience how hard we race each week. This truck we had is one of our older trucks, and everybody at HRE worked on it real hard to get it ready for this weekend, but we could never find the right balance we needed this weekend. Scott (Zipadelli) tried to get us some track position and we were fighting to stay up front anyway we could, but still managed something respectable out of the day. We have a fast bullet waiting in the shop to go to Texas, and we’ll be ready to go next Friday night.”