Martin Truex Jr. snaps 218-race losing streak

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm •  Published: June 23, 2013
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"I mean, I really do think we had a shot winning this race. We had a tremendous car," Gordon said. "I knew we were screwed. There was nothing I could do; I was hard on the brakes, fully committed. I couldn't turn away from it, I just knew we had to eat it and go on, and that's what we did."

Carl Edwards was third, followed by Kurt Busch, who climbed back from a pair of speeding penalties.

"Yeah, we were fast, even on pit road. Twice," Busch laughed. "I messed-up, flat-out. I didn't hit my tachometer right and I was speeding both times. It was one of those where I'm like, how does that happen? I just put myself in a position that was poor trying to get too much on pit road."

Bowyer wound up fifth in a strong day for the MWR Toyotas.

Kasey Kahne was sixth and followed by Marcos Ambrose, who was extremely disappointed he didn't win a race in which he was heavily favored.

"It's OK. We got a top-10 out of it," Ambrose said. "I wanted to win. Of course I wanted to win, but that's the way it goes."

Greg Biffle was eighth and followed by Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick in the top 10.

The race got off to an inauspicious start before it even began with a pit road accident, a mechanical issue for Jacques Villeneuve and an oil line failure for Bobby Labonte.

The accident occurred as the cars were headed onto the track and David Reutimann stopped his car on pit road. Alex Kennedy stopped behind Reutimann, and Paulie Harraka slammed into the back of Kennedy.

The damage wasn't significant enough to prevent Harraka from making his Sprint Cup Series debut. But it was a short-lived race for the first driver to advance from NASCAR's diversity program into a Cup race — Harraka spun and crashed his car six laps later.

Meanwhile, a parts failure caused Labonte to dump oil all over pit road before the race and he was forced to take his car to the garage for a quick repair. Labonte made it onto the track for the green flag, but his engine failed on the first lap.

"It blew up, dude," Labonte said on his radio. "Something in the bottom engine because it had no oil pressure."

Villeneuve had an issue shifting his gears and had to stay on pit road for a quick repair before trying to catch up to the field at the start of the race. He made it, but the problem wasn't completely corrected and he was back on pit road after 19 laps for more repairs.

Busch had back-to-back speeding penalties in yet another race that slipped away. He led 15 laps, lost the lead to former teammate Brad Keselowski, then was flagged for speeding when he went in for a scheduled pit stop. He had to return to pit road for a stop-and-go penalty and was flagged for speeding again.

It dropped Busch to 38th in the running order, from where he had to climb back to steal his strong finish.

His brother also had his share of problems. Kyle Busch was spun early in the race by Montoya to lose a ton of track position, then gave up everything he made up when he was caught speeding on pit road. He also spun at least two more times during the race.

Danica Patrick, thought to be a contender based on her strong runs in Nationwide Series road races, struggled all weekend to find speed and was done in by a flat rear tire just past the halfway point. The tire issue caused her to spin into a barrier and make multiple pit stops for repairs.

"It was a long day, a long weekend," Patrick said. "We just couldn't get the car to the point where I was comfortable with it. We just couldn't get much to go our way this weekend. Having the cut tire and going into the tire barrier was just sort of salt in the wound."

Pole-sitter Jamie McMurray never even led a lap under green as he was passed at the start by Ambrose, and his race took a big hit when he later ran off course with a tire problem and lost a lap.



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