Stafford Township native Martin Truex Jr. continues to have bad luck at the start of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
Truex will be forced to start at the back of the field in a backup car for today's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., after his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet crashed during practice.
According to a release by the team, Truex's left-rear tire went flat as the car went into Turn 1 on the 2-mile oval track. Truex's car smacked the outside wall, causing major body damage to the right side of the car.
"The tire went down going into Turn 1 and I didn't have any warning," Truex said in quotes provided by the team. "That's not the place you want to have a tire issue. We had a good race car and felt it was even getting better.
"We have to start at the back, but if your car is good here you can make your way up through the field. It's really been a tough start of the year for this Furniture Row team. I hate it for the guys but we'll get through this and show what this team is capable of accomplishing."
This is the second time this year that Truex has been forced to use a backup car.
He had to use one in the Daytona 500 after getting involved in a crash during his qualifying race.
In the backup car, Truex was 24th fastest in the final practice with a speed of 182.922 mph. Brother Ryan Truex was 42nd out of 43 cars in his No. 83 Toyota with a speed of 178.448 mph.
Brian Vickers' No. 55 Toyota was fastest in the final practice with a speed of 185.926.