Ryan Truex captured his fifth top-five finish of 2017, and tallied a stage win on Sunday afternoon at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The driver of the No. 16 Don Valley North Toyota / Weins Canada Toyota Tundra kept himself in playoff contention with a fifth-place result at the end of 64 laps on the 2.459-mile road course, and earned an additional 14 stage points.
Truex posted top-five lap times in both of Saturday’s practice sessions, and advanced to the final round of qualifying to earn the 11th-starting spot. At the drop of the green flag, Truex capitalized on the inside starting position and vaulted himself to eighth on the opening circuit. The Mayetta, N.J. native gained an additional position on lap 17, and earned four points with a seventh-place finish in Stage 1 at lap 20. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli gave Truex four tires and fuel under the stage caution, and air pressure changes to aid his lack of lateral grip.
Truex began Stage 2 from the 12th position on lap 24, and inherited a spot in the top five by lap 28 as varying pit strategies played out. Truex stayed on course and took the lead on lap 32, and drove away to his second stage victory of the year at lap 40. The stage win garnered him ten championship points, and one playoff point. He led 10 laps before coming to pit road for the second and final time on lap 42 under caution. On the ensuing restart at lap 45, Truex lined up 11th and immediately moved into the top 10.
The race’s final restart came on lap 56, where Truex lined up sixth. He turned in consistent lap times over the race’s final nine-lap run and took the fifth position with two laps to go. The fifth-place result marked Truex's third top-five finish in the last four races. Race winner Austin Cindric earned a playoff position, which puts Truex ninth on the Playoff Grid heading into the regular-season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, seven points behind the last playoff position.
Ryan Truex Quote:
“I think I had a truck that could have at least competed for a win, especially when those guys got racing up there. I just lost too much time on the restart, and just couldn't make it up. It's a strong run. We got a stage win. We're proven we deserve to be in the playoffs, and I don't know how this is all going to shake out. But, we're a team that's capable of putting up a fight for a championship and hopefully after Chicago we get to do that."
Laps Led: 10
Driver Points Position: 6th
Playoff Grid Position: 9th