Runner-up finish at Texas doesn’t suit Truex well

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Despite a valiant effort, Martin Truex Jr.’s winless streak in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stretched to 210 races last night at Texas Motor Speedway.

Truex was leading the NRA 500 when a caution for debris came out with 21 laps remaining, but when he and the rest of the leaders came down pit road for their final stops, Kyle Busch took advantage of his location in pit stall No. 1 (the closest to the exit of pit road) and a stellar stop from his crew to beat out Truex. That effectively ended the race, as Busch managed to get enough of a cushion to withstand a late rally from Truex and win the race.

After finishing in second place for the seventh time in his Sprint Cup career, Truex made no secret of how he felt.

“Second sure sucked tonight,” he said. “…I’m just disappointed. The race was over when we got beat out of the pits. The bottom was so fast for a couple laps and I was really worried, honestly, that I was going to lose second because Carl [Edwards] was on the inside of me. I was just somehow able to run [Turns] 1 and 2 wide open and get him cleared. Just the guy that gets clean air is hard to get.

“It’s hard to catch in 10 laps and I just was a little bit tight behind Kyle [Busch]. I started catching him as we were running — just out of time. The race was over in the pits.”

Truex’s finish at Texas was still his best of the season, and he indicated that he was grateful for that (“Finishing second is good — I’m not saying that’s not the case,” he said). But he knows how tough his competition is and how rare the chances can be to pull one over on them, which made his latest runner-up all the more disappointing.

“It is so hard to make your car good enough to beat Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch and all these guys — and we had that tonight,” he said.

Likely further adding to Truex’s annoyance was his No. 56 Michael Waltrip Toyota being found to be too low in post-race inspection. Penalties from NASCAR could result in the next couple of days.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup