Feb 23, 2014, 2:34 PM EDT
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – If only his car could have held out a few more laps until the rain came.
Unfortunately, that was not the case as outside pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr. suffered an early exit in Sunday’s Daytona 500 due to a blown engine. Truex was the first driver to drop out of the race due to mechanical failure.
“Definitely a tough break for the team,” Truex said. “The car was super fast today. I went to bed last night thinking this was my best shot ever to win Daytona 500. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.”
It appears that a oil pump belt came off the engine.
“You get about a 2-second warning the (belt) comes off (the pump) and it blows up,” Truex said. “Just didn’t get enough warning. It’s definitely a shame and tough break for this team.”
Truex crashed his primary car during Thursday’s Budweiser Duel 150s and was forced to start Sunday’s Great American Race in a backup car.
“What a shame we had such a fast race car,” Truex said. “I was really happy with it. It was a lot better than the car Thursday.”
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
- Raikkonen: Yes, he’s still motivated, otherwise he wouldn’t be here 1
- Red Bull tweaks Mercedes over attempt to increase ‘Fuelgate’ punishment 2
- NASCAR still humming along after last fall’s Richmond scandal 9
- Mercedes’ domination: Equivalent or different from Red Bull’s? 2
- Who is better off? 2013 vs 2014 F1 points comparison 0
More from NASCAR America
- VIDEO: Vettel ignores team orders, telling team “tough luck” (20)
- Alonso’s doing it again – another year outperforming teammate, equipment (11)
- NASCAR still humming along after last fall’s Richmond scandal (9)
- In re-released interview, Brad Keselowski recalls how Rick Hendrick left him heartbroken (8)
- Maldonado brushes off crash and spin in practice (7)