On Sunday at Watkins Glen, Martin Truex Jr. was in a position to strike if the last-lap battle for the win on Sunday between Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski turned chaotic. Instead, he had to settle for a third-place finish.
“We had so much speed in the short run, and after we put that last set of tires on, we almost got the lead but we just couldn’t quite run with [Busch] after that…After all those restarts, all those heat cycles in the tires,” Truex told ESPN.
“Both the 2 [Keselowski] and the 18 [Busch] were just a tick better than we were on the longer runs and on the older [tires] with built-up air pressures. We just missed it a little bit.”
But Truex was still one of the biggest movers in the Chase picture, as he and Keselowski each climbed four spots in the standings. Truex, who had entered Sunday as one of the two Wild Card holders, elevated himself from 14th to 10th in the championship.
Throw in his victory at Sonoma and it would appear that he’s earned himself some breathing room with four races to go before the Chase begins on Sept. 15 at Chicagoland. But there’s still a fair bit of racing to go before NASCAR’s post-season roster is settled.
Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.
Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.
“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.
“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”