HAMPTON, Ga. — Martin Truex Jr. started from the rear and drove through the field to finish third Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, though it was not as easy as it seems, he says. “If you look at the stat sheet, it’s going to say we started fifth and finished third, it looks like a pretty solid day, but I had to start in the back and then getting towards the front , I think we got up to eighth or 10th or somewhere in there and we had contact on pit road,” he said post race.
Truex was forced to start at the rear of the field due to failing pre-race inspection twice, and found himself inside the top-10 after nearly 50 laps. After climbing through the field, contact between he and Kevin Harvick would result in damage to a fender on Truex’s No. 19 Toyota.
“The 4 (Kevin Harvick) ran into us and we had to pit and pull the fender out and start in the back again. I got all the way back up through there. It’s one of those days. Passed a lot of cars. The first two stages was the same cars over, and over and over, which is frustrating, but in the end our Auto Owners Toyota Camry was really, really fast. We closed in to within two or three seconds from leaders, but just ran out of time there.”
Truex’s third place finish marks his eighth consecutive top-10 finish at Atlanta and his seventh of the 2021 season.
The series next heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where Truex has yet to find Victory Lane in 27 starts. His best finish at the short track is 3rd three times (2007, 2017, 2020).