NASCARRyan Truex Finishes Runner-Up at Phoenix Raceway

Ryan Truex Finishes Runner-Up at Phoenix Raceway

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

The speed in Ryan Truex’s Toyota GR Supra didn’t show until the closing laps of the United Rentals 200, however it was too little too late for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

Ryan truex ran out of time and finished runner-up to his joe gibbs racing teammate sammy smith in the nascar xfinity series united rentals 200 at phoenix raceway.
Ryan Truex. (Photo by NKP / NKP Photo)

Truex didn’t enter the top-10 until final Stage of the 200-lap race. His No. 19 Toyota Genuine Parts Supra slowly picked off the competition one by one. The Mayetta, N.J. native jumped into the top-five on the final restart.

With only 15 laps to go Truex had a hard-fought battle with Kyle Busch, Austin Hill, and Chandler Smith. That battle cost the 30-year-old crucial time to his teammate and race leader, Sammy Smith.

“I think the track just changed a lot more than I expected it to,” Truex explained. “That long run we were really bad – I was just hanging on. Jason (Ratcliff) and these guys let me complain on the radio and we made the right adjustments. That was a good restart at the end; I’m glad at least I could try to make it exciting.”

The veteran journeyman driver was the fastest on track in the final 10 laps. That allowed Truex to close in to just under half a second behind his Toyota Racing compatriot. However, the speeds equalized with three laps to go.

Ryan truex ran out of time and finished runner-up to his joe gibbs racing teammate sammy smith in the nascar xfinity series united rentals 200 at phoenix raceway.
Ryan Truex (left) and Sammy Smith (right). (Photo by NKP / NKP Photo)

Ultimately Smith increased his lead in the final two laps. Truex settled in to finish runner-up for the third time in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career.

“Congrats to Sammy and I think he was the class of the field all day,” Truex admitted. “His car looked so good, and he could do what he wanted. Just thankful to be here. Thank you to Toyota Genuine Parts – it was as fast as Xfinity 10 G – but I think that Sammy was just a little bit faster. I’ll try again next time.”

Though he was strong in practice and topped the charts in several categories, Truex qualified 12th. In part due to strategy he did not finish inside the top-10 in either of the first two Stages and did not earn any Stage points.

The race at Phoenix Raceway was the first of Truex’s six scheduled starts in Joe Gibbs Racing’s third Xfinity entry. The runner-up finish kept the No. 19 Toyota 10th in the Xfinity Owner’s Points standings, just 10-points above the cutline.

The second-place finish was Truex’s sixth career top-five in the Xfinity Series. It was also his 28th top-10 finish.

Next for the Xfinity Series is the RAPTOR 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Seth Eggert
Seth Eggert
Growing up in Northern New Jersey, Seth grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. He was always determined to have a career in the industry. While in college, Seth bought a subscription to iRacing. As an avid iRacer, Seth took an opportunity to start a journalism career at iRacingNews covering the IndyCar Open Oval Series. He spent four years at iRacingNews before moving towards coverage of motorsports in the real world. In 2016, Seth joined Tribute Racing, which then became Motorsports Tribune as a Staff Writer. That same year, he graduated from Mitchell Community College with an Associate’s Degree in History. He joined the Kickin’ the Tires team as a Staff Writer and eSports Editor in late 2019. When he is not writing or covering NASCAR or iRacing, Seth works at Mitchell Community College as an Administrator in their Mooresville campus tutoring center. He is also qualified to tutor up to 38 different classes ranging from Communications to History to Math to various electives.


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