Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson were early victims of right-front tire issues Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
The defending series champion – who was the best on 1.5-mile tracks last season – slammed the Turn 4 wall on Lap 82. Truex had started sixth and was running second at the time of the accident, which he admitted was unexpected.
“Just blew a right-front tire out of nowhere,” said Truex after being evaluated and released from the care center. “Not sure what happened there, if we’d run something over or what. I think the first set of tires that came off the car looked great. We were just making our way towards the front.
“Would have been nice to have at least finished that first stage before it happened, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Running fourth, Larson took a hard hit in Turn 2 on Lap 126. He too was evaluated and released uninjured from the care center.
“That was a pretty huge hit, but I’m relatively OK,” said Larson. “Thanks to NASCAR and all their safety features and SAFER barriers, especially. I would have liked to have finished this thing out because I feel like our Credit One Bank Chevy was really fast. Wasn’t very good there on the short run [on] that run, but long runs I felt like we were as good or better than anybody.”
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Larson had driven to the front of the field after having to start in the rear. The No. 42 Chevrolet failed pre-race inspection three times, negating his 10th-place qualifying effort. His car chief, David Bryant, had also been ejected for the race.