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Truex Jr. Exits Pocono 400 Early

Martin Truex Jr.’s hopes for a Pocono 400 repeat win fizzled in smoke Sunday afternoon with a mechanical issue at Pocono Raceway.

Truex indicated over the radio to his Joe Gibbs Racing crew that his No. 19 Toyota had begun to falter just before the conclusion of Stage 2. He pulled his car to pit road and the team retired to the garage after 91 of a scheduled 160 laps.

“I don’t know. We just lost an engine there — dropped a cylinder down the backstretch and figured I might as well pit,” Truex said. “I thought maybe it was a possibility we were out of gas, but it started smoking out of the pipes and shut off. Tough day. TRD (Toyota Racing Development) does a great job of building engines and obviously they’re fast. Probably a fluke deal. I’m not sure, but we’ll go back to look at it. Frustrating day.”

Truex is a two-time winner at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track who scored his most recent Pocono victory last June. Truex is already a three-time winner this season, including last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600.

Truex failed to finish for just the second time this year, the first instance since the season-opening Daytona 500.