Almost a Decade Before Kyle Larson Controversy, NASCAR Kicked Martin Truex Jr Out of The Playoffs Due to Manipulation Scandal

Back in 2013, Martin Truex Jr was involved in an incident after which he was seen eliminated from the Chase. A year later he admitted it still haunted him. What is interesting is that almost a decade later, once again while, he seemingly had the chance to fight for the chase, he was once again eliminated after an unfortunate incident with Kyle Larson.

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The 2013 scandal mostly known as the ‘spin gate’, was started by Clint Bowyer, who randomly spun out bringing out the caution flag. Conveniently that caution helped Martin Truex Jr get back into the Chase. It was later revealed that Bowyer was instructed to do so, in order to manipulate the race and give his teammate Truex Jr the advantage.

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Moreover, with just 3 laps to go teammate, Brian Vickers was asked to get into the pits. A visibly confused Vickers kept asking why he was being asked to come into the pit road this late into the race. However, he never received a definite answer to it. Later on, Vickers was heard asking, “did… uhh… Martin make it?” and his spotter answered, “I’ll see you after the race, Brian. I owe you a kiss.”

After NASCAR discovered what was up, they decided to penalize all Michael Waltrip Racing drivers with 50 driver points and the team also received the same number of points being ducked. Moreover, all MWR teams were also placed under a probationary period.

Soon, Martin Truex Jr was found to be out of the Chase because of all his penalties. However, NASCAR had somehow decided to move Jeff Gordon into the Chase. That move was highly questionable since it literally changed the rule on the fly.

A year later, talking about the scandal Truex mentioned, “It’s just one of those things. It’s been really frustrating, the whole season, but we’ve got to stay positive. We’ve got to keep working hard and get this thing turned around.”

Kyle Larson ruins Martin Truex Jr’s Homestead-Miami race

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Nine years later, Truex ran into problems once again, this time not competing for the playoffs but rather just a ruined race effort.

Aug 7, 2022; Brooklyn, Michigan, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) is introduced before the race at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

What happened at Homestead Miami was not exactly Larson’s fault, to be honest. It was more that Truex had forgotten where his stall was and only after he realized it at the final moment he suddenly decided to slow down in order to get in. However as he attempted to slow down, an unsuspecting Larson could not have done anything in such a short amount of time and collided into his rear.

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WATCH THIS STORY: NASCAR Insider Hopes ‘Anxiety Issues’ Plagued Bubba Wallace Makes Peace With Kyle Larson if He Wants to Save His Career

Truex Jr then spun out and reached his stall facing the wrong way. The 2013 incident turned out not to be Truex’s fault instead it was a full-on scandal run by a handful of perpetrators of whom, Truex Jr became a passenger.

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