Though Martin Truex Jr. escaped two major wrecks, he had to contend with a vibration in his car plus a battery change in Sunday’s rain-delayed and rain-shortened Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
The 160-lap, 400-mile race was scheduled for Saturday night, but rain forced postponement of the event at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The unpredictable weather in the coastal city pelted the area with more rain on Sunday afternoon that eventually caused the race to be called on Lap 112.
Truex, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, was credited with a 15th-place finish in the Sprint Cup Series race, which marked the halfway point of the 36-race season schedule.
“It was a roller coaster day,” said Truex, who qualified 19th. “We never could get going. I didn’t like what I was seeing early in the race and I hung back. That turned out to be a good move as we missed being collected in the first wreck (Lap 21). Then we had a vibration in the car and later we needed to change the battery. As I was exiting pit road after the battery change, the second big wreck happened (Lap 99).
“We most likely would have been in that wreck had we not been on pit road changing the battery. We eventually got back on the lead lap and we were ready to move forward. But we never got that opportunity because of the race being declared official following more rain. It’s been one of those weekends you want to forget about and move on.”
Truex dropped one spot to 26th in the driver point standings.
The race winner was Aric Almirola. Rounding out the top-10 were: Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch, Casey Mears, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell, Danica Patrick, Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose.
There were 21 lead changes among 14 drivers. The race had seven cautions for 29 laps and two red flags for a total of 30 minutes. The last delay, approximately one hour, is not considered a red flag since the race was called.