Martin Truex Jr. scored his career best Atlanta Motor Speedway finish on Sunday with a second-place run in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
Truex Jr. followed race winner Brad Keselowski across the finish line for the runner-up effort, his best in 21 career starts at the 1.5-mile track.
“Really proud of the team,” Truex Jr. said after Sunday’s race. “Great rebound after last weekend. Bass Pro Shops, Tracker ATV’s and Boats, thank all you guys, everybody at Toyota, everybody back at the shop with JGR. They built a great race car here, and man, I could taste that one. I really wanted that first Atlanta win.”
Truex Jr. felt he could have made a run at Keselowski earlier down the stretch if not for slower cars he felt were in the way.
“It was just lapped cars,” Truex Jr. explained. “It was a shame we got put in that position on that last restart. But that’s the way the caution fell.”
Truex Jr. was particularly frustrated with the way Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove him down the stretch.
“Just the 17 (Stenhouse Jr.) rode there in front of us forever and ever running the bottom, and I kept telling him I needed the bottom, and these cars are just so bad in dirty air that he was holding me up really bad,” Truex Jr. said. “Once I got around him, I drove got to the 2 car in two laps. I just needed one more.”
Still after exiting Daytona last week in an accident for his Joe Gibbs Racing debut, Truex Jr. was ultimately pleased with Sunday’s outcome.
“Unfortunate we had a great car, and like I said, the guys did a great job,” he said. “Just a little upset. We had the best car. We probably should have won that one.”