TALLADEGA, Ala. – Martin Truex Jr.’s championship went up with a rush of smoke on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway as his No. 78 Toyota suffered an engine failure on Lap 41 of a scheduled 188.
Truex, who won twice in the three-race first playoff segment, entered the elimination race seventh in the driver standings and within the eight-driver advancement window. His Furniture Row Racing car was taken to the garage under caution.
Truex, a favorite for the title, had run inside the top 10 most of the race.
“It’s disappointing. I mean, what else can you say?,” he said in the garage as his team looked over his car. “I feel like we had a team capable of competing for the championship and it’s unfortunate we’re not going to be able to show that. I guess there’s still a chance for a miracle, but I don’t see it happening.
“Just disappointed, but all in all proud of my team for the effort. It’s been a good season for us. We have four more races we can go out and win, and we plan on doing…