Martin Truex Jr. Las Vegas Recap Video (via Michael Waltrip Racing)
CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 17th in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I just didn't have the front grip I needed,” said Truex after the race. “Ever since the sun came out we just couldn't get our NAPA Toyota better. We fought loose off and could never tighten it back up. It was the same condition we had at Texas last year. We made wedge and air pressure changes, but we just couldn't get it better. It's frustrating because I know we are better than this."
The finish moved Truex to an eighth-place tie in the point standings with Joey Logano.
“We were bummed with how we finished today because we were better than that,” Truex added. “But eighth after three races is a good start.”
Truex started 10th and ran at the front throughout the race climbing as high as second. As track temperatures increased so did handing issues for the No. 56. It dropped Truex several spots. Crew chief Chad Johnston opted for a series of wedge and air pressure changes to return the NAPA Toyota back into winning contention.
Unfortunately, Truex battled the condition until the very end.
The race came down to a five-lap shoot out. Truex took the restart in 14th position and appeared on mark for a top-15 result. But with two laps remaining, he lost three positions avoiding Matt Kenseth’s accident.
Tony Stewart edged out Jimmie Johnson by .0461 seconds for the victory. Rounding out the top-five were Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards.
Eight cautions slowed the race for 33 laps and featured 16 lead changes among 11 drivers. NASCAR estimated a crowd of 150,000 fans.
Next Sunday the NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action on the fast half-mile at Bristol Motor Speedway.