Steve O’Donnell says the penalty initially called on Martin Truex Jr. was overruled in the NASCAR tower.
On the race’s final caution, it was relayed to the NASCAR tower from the PRO Trailer (where pit stops are monitored by video) that the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team had a crew member over the wall too soon. The penalty would have moved Truex to the rear of the field for the restart.
However, Truex lined up with the leaders and went on to finish second to Brad Keselowski.
“That was one that we (in the tower) couldn’t confirm that the foot was down via the camera angle, so we didn’t make that call,” said O’Donnell, the executive vice president and chief racing development officer, on pit road after the race.
Any confusion on why Truex was able to line up where he did likely came from there being no public acknowledgment that the penalty had been reversed.
“We definitely didn’t have a penalty,” said Truex. “We had to be the (wave around) because they give out the lucky dog as soon as the caution falls, and the 2 [Keselowski] was the lucky dog when the caution fell, and then after that, we got lapped on pit road.”
Truex was lapped because he didn’t beat Joey Logano, who was the leader, to the exit of pit road.
“It was kind of weird,” said Truex. “Just one of those things. It was really close on the pit exit deal. And honestly, we had a little bit of a slow pit stop. If we didn’t we would have been fine there.
“The 2 and the 22, they clearly have the golden horseshoe, so hopefully luck for us will turn around a little bit. We battled a lot of adversity today — we had some slow pit stops early, the guys got it together on pit road, and we had an awesome race car. Just really had a lot of trouble with lapped traffic, just kept catching them in the wrong spot and then at the end, like is said, lapped cars just disrespecting us racing for the win.”