Truex Jr was not happy to finish 2nd in the NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Martin Truex Jr chased down Brad Keselowski in the final laps of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
However, he had to run through lap traffic to get there. Several cars were trapped a lap down. Truex started behind them.
Stenhouse was caught speeding on pit road. That put him a lap down to the leaders. He was also the first car a lap down.
As Truex approached Stenhouse, Keselowski was well up the track but he was still closing. However, both Stenhouse and Truex were running the bottom lane.
This put Truex in dirty air. It took downforce off the nose of his car and force him to abuse the front tires as they struggled for grib and slid up the banking.
Truex repeatedly communicated with his spotter regarding Stenhouse.
Truex and Stenhouse Jr
Truex Radio: “Fuck that #17,” Martin Truex Jr said over the radio.
Stenhouse Spotter: “Five [car lengths] back to the #19. He’s starting to reel the #2 in here so be smart,” Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s spotter stated to his driver.
Truex Radio: “Get him off the fucking bottom!”
Truex Spotter: “I’m preaching. I’m trying to get all the help I can. He shaking his head yes but obviously, his driver ain’t relaying the same message.”
Stenhouse Spotter: “He’s three back, give this #19 a lane.”
At this moment, Ricky Stenhouse Jr pulled all the way to the inside line down the backstretch. The #19 split the #17 of Stenhouse as well as another lapper before setting sights back on Keselowski.
Truex Radio: “That #17 car cost us that race Cole.”
Truex Jr still ran down Brad Keselowski. He had one or two shots at the leader but that’s all time allowed.
Martin Truex on Stenhouse Jr
After the race
“Yeah, I’m a lot frustrated. Laps cars, they just have no respect for the leaders, Truex Jr stated after climbing from his machine at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“You’re running for the win. It’s completely uncalled for, ridiculous.”
“It’s a shame. We lined up on the last restart behind all those guys that were a lap down. I know they’re racing for the lucky dog, which is all good.”
“But, once they got strung out, the #17 had a straight-away on all of them. He just wouldn’t let me by and kept hugging the bottom. He knew that’s where I needed to run.”
“My spotter kept telling his, ‘We need the bottom.’ “
“These cars, they punch such a big hole. It’s so bad in dirty air that he just completely killed us for 25-30 laps. To the point where my front tires were gone.”
“Once I finally got by him, Hell, I still run down the #2 in two laps from half a straight-away. We clearly had the best car and were in position to win.”
“You know, guys a lap down have to have a little bit more respect than that,” Truex concluded.