Race Weekend Central

Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson Suffer Tire Failures, Hard Crashes at Texas

Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson are both victims of tire failures so far in Sunday’s (Apr. 8) O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Truex’s race ended just five laps before the end of the first stage. His sudden tire failure on Lap 80 sent the No. 78 Toyota hard into the outside wall.

Last season, seven of Truex’s eight victories came on mile-and-a-half tracks, and he had run inside the top 10 the entire race after starting sixth. He was running second at the time of the wreck, albeit nearly 12 seconds behind leader Kevin Harvick.

“Well, just blew a right-front tire out of nowhere. Not sure what happened there – if we run something over or what,” Truex said after being checked and released from the infield care center. “I think the first set of tires that came off the car looked great. We were just making our way towards the front. Would’ve been nice to have at least finished that first stage before it happened, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

It’s the first DNF for Truex at an intermediate track since the Homestead season finale back in 2016.

“Speeds are really fast here today with the cool temperatures and I don’t know if that had something to do with it or not,” he continued. “We’ll just have to go back and evaluate that. But all in all, we were going to be in for a good day. We were making the car better and still had room to go. We were as fast as anybody. At least that’s a positive and we’ll go on to next week and see what we can do.” 

Just a little over 40 laps later, Larson also suffered a failure, along with a fire after contact with the outside wall. He started at the rear of the field after failing pre-race inspection three times but was running inside the top five at the time of the incident. Larson had an ill-handling car but was making the most of it before his Goodyear tires just gave out.

“I’m OK, thankfully. Thanks to NASCAR and their safety because that was a huge hit,” Larson said. “Just hate that I blew a right-front (tire) there.  I was pretty tight but didn’t really expect to blow a right-front.

“I would have liked to have finished this thing out because I feel like our Credit One Bank Chevy was really fast.  Wasn’t very good there on the short run. But long runs, I felt like we were as good or better than anybody.”

It’s the second straight wreck for Larson at Texas. At the time, he was the only Chevrolet running inside the top nine in what’s been another tough day for the new Camaros.

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