Martin Truex Jr. said he needed more time to challenge Brad Keselowski for the victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway after a series of events put him behind.
Truex ultimately finished second after being scored sixth on the final restart. But because the on-track line-up was shuffled due to an untimely caution in the middle of green flag pit stops, there were lapped cars and drivers who had taken the wave around running among the leaders.
The No. 19 had been on pit road when the caution came out and was one of those lapped because he didn’t beat the leader to the exit of pit road. The leader was Joey Logano, who had not yet pitted.
“We just caught an unlucky break there at the end with the way the pit stop deal worked out under caution,” said Truex. “When the caution came out we were on pit road, we had to, I think, wave around and got stuck behind some lapped cars and then they just completely disrespect the leaders at the end of the race.
“(They were) in the damn way. Taking all the lines we want. If they were in that position, they’d be really pissed off — so I am too.”
Lapped cars were the second thing Truex said went against him catching Keselowski. It didn’t matter if it was drivers with experience or not — Truex was frustrated with all of them.
“Everybody that’s a lap down should just get the hell out of the way of the leaders with 30, 40 laps to go and they don’t,” he said. “They need to start paying attention.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was one Truex mentioned. Truex said he ruined his front tires trying to get around the Roush Fenway Racing driver when he was faster than Keselowski and maybe could have passed him given another lap or another corner.
“I’ve always wanted to win here — been close before and led a lot of laps but second sucks,” Truex said.