NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Martin Truex, Jr., Paul Menard with Early Issues in Pocono

It didn’t take too long before two of the top 3 starters ran into problems at Pocono Raceway.

Shortly following a lap 18 restart after the competition caution, polesitter Martin Truex, Jr. cut a right-front tire into Turn 2, sending the No. 78 machine into the wall. The team found that the inner-liner valve stem caused the failure.

Leading the opening 16 laps of the Pennsylvania 400, Truex fell off the lead lap as the team repaired the significant damage before suffering another cut tire on lap 40. The Furniture Row Racing team took it behind the wall.

“It’s just bad luck honestly,” Truex said after retiring from the race. “I knew something wasn’t right in [Turns] 1 and 2. By the time I tried to slow down it was just going straight for the fence.”

The day took an even worse turn for third-place starter Paul Menard, who suffered a transmission issue due to a missed shift on the lap 18 restart. The Richard Childress Racing team went behind the wall to fix the issue.

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