CONCORD, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 13th in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver qualified seventh in the 40-lap event. Truex quickly drove up to fourth position and just two positions shy of a transfer spot by lap two. However, during the restart on the final segment on lap 28, the field bunched up and caused the No. 56 to lose valuable positions on the track after making contact with another car. The chance for the NAPA team to transfer into the Sprint All-Star Race faded away as he finished 13th.
"The restarts were frustrating," said Truex. "Some drivers were checking up and some just couldn't get going. If we could have made it through the final restart, we would have been OK. We have a little bit more work to do on our NAPA Toyota before next week's Coca-Cola 600. I hate the fact that we didn't defend our Showdown win because it's tough to sit out of the All-Star race. I love to race in it."
Truex wasted no time when the green flag dropped in the Sprint Showdown. By lap two, he ran in fourth position. Over the course of the first 20-lap segment, the NAPA Toyota would not turn. Crew chief Pat Tryson opted to pit for two tires and an air pressure change during the competition yellow.
When the race restarted, Truex lined up seventh after six cars stayed out. Just one circuit later, the NAPA driver ran in fifth position and still looked good to earn a transfer spot. Unfortunately the race slowed two times for issues on the track. The final restart on lap 28 took Truex out of contention when he sustained a tire rub due to contact with the No. 27 car.
David Ragan won the Sprint Showdown. Also earning transfer spots were Brad Keselowski for finishing second and Dale Earnhardt Jr. who won the Sprint Fan Vote.
Taking home the $1 million pay day in the Sprint All-Star Race was Carl Edwards. Truex's MWR teammate David Reutimann finished third.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to points racing next Sunday for the season's longest race -- the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.