Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Martin Truex takes off quickly at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH — Less is more for Martin Truex and his new No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet.

Despite having virtually no track time, Truex qualified second Sunday for the Daytona 500 after a lap of 195.852 mph during qualifying at the 2½-mile Daytona International Speedway. He'll start next to pole-sitter Austin Dillon on the front row for Sunday's Daytona 500.

"It's pretty amazing to not test and run one run (in Saturday's practice)," Truex said after qualifying. "Literally, this was only the second time the car had been on the racetrack, and it shows what kind of race car this team builds, and I'm just proud to be the one holding the gas on the floor (Sunday)."

"At the end of the day, if we can keep him (Truex) talking and not practicing — the less we practice, the better we're going to be," crew chief Todd Berrier joked.

Last year Truex raced for Michael Waltrip's organization but lost the ride after controversy at the regular-season finale at Richmond. NASCAR ruled Waltrip's operation engineered chicanery by its drivers in the closing laps to help Truex get a spot in the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship. Longtime sponsor NAPA withdrew its support, and Truex left.

Richard Childress Racing placed several drivers among the top 10 in qualifying including Dillon, Ryan Newman (fifth) and Paul Menard (10). Truex's car features an engine developed by RCR.

Ruling rued: Danica Patrick is upset with a rule forcing her and several other drivers to the back of the pack for the 500 after engine changes Saturday. Cars must start at the rear of the field of both the 500 and Thursday's 150-mile Duels after unapproved engine changes.

"It's definitely disappointing, knowing that we're starting from the back of — not so much the Duels — the 500," Patrick said after qualifying Sunday. "I don't understand it, but it's what I have to do."

Stewart-Haas teammate Tony Stewart also had to change because of an engine issue, as did Bobby Labonte.

Pace car fire: Chevrolet released a statement confirming that the pace car fire during Saturday's Sprint Unlimited race started in the trunk area, where an auxiliary electrical kit operating the caution lights malfunctioned. Nobody was injured.

On the run: Cup drivers Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson were among more than 1,500 runners in Sunday morning's Daytona Beach Half Marathon.

Martin Truex takes off quickly at Daytona 02/16/14 [Last modified: Sunday, February 16, 2014 10:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  2. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  3. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Erasmo Ramirez is not happy about moving back to the bullpen, and can you blame him? But that's the best move for the Rays now. He can fill several roles: long man, setup man, even closer in a pinch. The Rays need to settle the bullpen, and Ramirez has proven he's capable of doing that.

  5. Rays up next: at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Today: Off

    Up next: at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, PNC Park, Pittsburgh