Martinsville under the lights didn’t disappoint even with Martin Truex Jr. making it a one-car show in the end. There was a point in last night’s race where I thought we were going to potentially see an amazing comeback story for Ryan Blaney or Bubba Wallace, but that was unfortunately not meant to be.
There has been a lot of hate thrown around in NASCAR recently, but the one thing that has got people upset about the racing itself was how Martin Truex Jr. kind of lucked his way into a win. I know that sounds ludicrous because the man dominated in the end and led 132 laps, but there was a catch.
Truex accumulated some damage to his front fender that punctured a hole directly where his tires were. Martinsville is the hardest track in terms of ware on your car. This being mostly due to how hard and often the brakes are mashed in order to properly turn at the paperclip.
So, the hole in Truex’s, fender allowed a significant amount of airflow to the tires which helped cool the brakes down. This allowed him to better handle his car and be able to use his brakes more efficiently than other competitors. Where others were having to conserve their tires, Truex was given the advantage of being able to conserve easily in comparison.
This was obviously nothing illegal on Truex or his teams part. It was pure luck that the damage to the car actually helped him. While Ryan Blaney had the fastest car, Truex was able to handle his own speed better.
A win is a win and while dumb luck played in the favor of Truex, he couldn’t have angled his car to get hit in the exact way needed be to achieve this air hole. No harm, no foul, but at the state the sport is in fans are ready to complain about anything.