Martin Truex Jr. still isn’t pleased with how Saturday night’s race at Richmond ended for him. Truex had the lead near the end of the race, but the caution came out after Derrike Cope was involved in a wreck that didn’t even cause damage to this car.
Cope wasn’t anywhere near the front, but the caution forced the race to go into overtime where Truex eventually wrecked and finished 20th. He met with Steve O’Donnell, who is the executive vice president and chief racing development officer, about raising the minimum speed for cars that haven’t been involved in a wreck.
Truex told reporters during playoff media day on Wednesday that it doesn’t make sense for the outcome of the race to be altered by a driver who isn’t even near the rest of the field.
“We need to up minimum speed for cars that were not in an accident, that didn’t get on the five-minute clock for crash damage, for that very reason,” Truex said. “We don’t want to go to Homestead and have a car that’s 25 laps down scrape the wall or blow a tire and change the outcome of possibly a championship or who the champion is. I think it’s something they’re definitely willing to look into. I think it makes sense.”
Truex believes any rule changed should be enforced throughout the entire season, not just the playoffs. He said there needs to be more consistency with the minimum speed.
“I would say that minimum speed right now probably is too far off from where we run,” Truex said. “You have to be way, way off the pace to go 16 or 20 laps down under green at a short track, for a 400-lap race. Losing a couple of laps is one thing. But 15-plus, you probably don’t need to be out there.”
Truex was understandably frustrated about the caution coming out for Cope, and Truex likely would’ve won his fifth race of the season had the caution not been waved.
If a caution comes out during a playoff race and it impacts the outcome of the race, it will certainly make many drivers angry at the rule. It’s likely that NASCAR officials will make an adjustment to the rule at some point, but hopefully it’s not too late.
(h/t NBC Sports)