The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who completed second in 2018 with Furnishings Row Racing and once more in 2019 with JGR, led for 72 laps on Sunday and hit the entrance in stage three after undercutting his title rivals at what ought to have been the ultimate cease of the race and biking him again to the entrance.
He gave the impression to be heading in direction of his second championship, after his 2017 breakthrough season, when a particles warning prompted everybody to return to the pits – the place Larson seized the initiative.
Truex spent the rest of the race searching Larson, and though he remained shut was by no means in a position to get previous as Larson earned his first Cup Series title, and the second in a row for Hendrick Motorsports after Chase Elliott’s 2020 crown.
“In the end we would have liked to beat him off pit highway,” surmised Truex.
“It is unlucky, however we win and lose as a staff. And actually pleased with our efforts this 12 months.
“That is thrice we have been second, and that sucks. Second hurts I am not going to lie, particularly with the automobile we had and the job the blokes did.
“That is racing, as they are saying, and typically you are simply not on the proper finish of issues. We have been on the proper finish to issues to get the lead there and weren’t in a position to maintain on to it.
“If we might have had the lead, I believe it could have been over, however that is form of how the #5 [Larson] did it, too. So that they had a hell of a season and congrats to them.”
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro HendrickCars.com, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Professional Outlets
Photograph by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
Hamlin might do “nothing else”
Truex’s fellow title-chaser and team-mate Denny Hamlin completed third, as soon as once more arising brief in his quest for a primary Cup title.
The 40-year-old, who seemed sturdy in his pursuit of Truex till the warning that handed Larson the initiative, mentioned there was “nothing else I might have executed” to get on phrases with the main pair.
It was the third consecutive season he’s superior to the championship-deciding race and didn’t win the title, having completed fourth in 2019 and 2020.
“I’ve to reside with the outcome as a result of I can’t change it. Upset, completely, for certain. However I knew form of going into right now I used to be going to want the race to go a sure method,” Hamlin mentioned.
“If it goes the best way it did final 12 months, it goes inexperienced out (to the end), we’re in all probability profitable. Nevertheless it didn’t. We knew that our proportion was low, and that was the case.
“Many of those races come right down to green-white checkers or shootouts on the finish, and that simply wasn’t our power and hasn’t been ever.”
The Cup Sequence’ transfer to a brand new Dallara-built automobile subsequent season additionally places all drivers – younger or outdated – in a state of affairs of beginning over, and Hamlin mentioned the defeat stung extra having “actually put a lot emphasis” on making an attempt to win the ultimate title for the outgoing Gen-6 machines.
“That is the final technology of this automobile that I took an excellent liking to over the past three years,” Hamlin mentioned.
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Categorical
Photograph by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images
“We don’t know what the Subsequent Gen automobile brings. We don’t know will our staff be pretty much as good. There’s simply many, many query marks what occurs after this.
“That’s why we actually put a lot emphasis on let’s attempt to win this, win this this 12 months.
“However actually, there’s simply nothing else I might have executed. There’s nothing else. I drove as laborious as I might each lap.
“I didn’t have the pace for the primary 20 [laps]. It was evident in a variety of the restarts we had. I believe we really overachieved in fairly a couple of.”