Truex Delivers Sixth-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway

Leads 69 Laps and Moves to Fourth Place in the Driver Standings – Only 21 Points Out of First

Martin Truex Jr. Martinsville Recap Video (via Michael Waltrip Racing)

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CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished sixth in Saturday’s 334-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. The NAPA driver led the field to the green flag after collecting his first Coors Light pole award of the season and second at Texas. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver led four times for a total of 69 laps -- the most circuits the driver has led in an event this season.

“At the start it was really good,” said Truex. “Then, we kept getting looser all night. Every time we’d tighten it up -- we would lose a ton of grip and not gain rear. It was a big challenge and we just could never get it perfect. Still, even with that -- it was a second or third-place car, at worst. We just had a little miscommunication there with the pit stop. I slid into the (pit) box a little too far. I wasn’t expecting the 14 (Tony Stewart) to be in our box. We probably should have waited another lap. Things are going to happen. I’m proud of Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and the whole NAPA team. He called an awesome race. The pit crew was phenomenal tonight. It’s just nice to keep this thing going -- running up front. Hopefully, we can do the same thing again next week.”

The NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew performed at a blistering fast pace winning the race off pit road three times.

Meanwhile, the second half saw the team experience a small mishap on pit road during the NAPA team’s pit stop on lap 187. Truex overshot his pit to avoid the car in the box next to him. The driver had to backup to avoid a pit-road penalty which lost the team three positions on the track. Truex returned to pit road in fifth position.

“I don’t know if that cost us a chance at the win,” shrugged Truex after the race. “We were off a little bit during the second half of the race. Our car got really loose and every time we tried to tighten it up we would just lose front grip and not help the rear, so we’d end up being tight and loose. We really just had to leave it loose and hang on to it. It was a battle tonight. It was a lot of fun out there running up front with the NAPA Toyota. That one little miscue on the pit stop where I wasn’t expecting the 14 (Tony Stewart) to be there and I just slid a foot too far -- that cost us a few spots. We were definitely a solid top-three or four (car). I don’t know if we had anything for the 16 (Greg Biffle) -- he was pretty stout.

“At times we were the best car. At times we were second or third-best, but on average we should have been a top-five. And then at the end there we had to save a little fuel so I feel like I was running down Matt (Kenseth) a little bit and we were going to have a heck of race for fifth, and I had to start letting off early for gas. I can’t say enough about everybody on this NAPA team -- everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing). It’s been a lot of fun and hopefully, we can keep this thing going and looking forward to going to Kansas next week.”

With less than 10 laps to go, Truex had fifth place in his sights, but fuel conservation came into play. Johnston gave his driver the lap speeds needed to ensure the NAPA Toyota’s fuel tank would not run dry and earn the team’s its fifth top-10 finish of the season.

Truex moves to fourth in the championship point standings –only 21 markers out of first and only one point out of second.

Meanwhile, in front of 159,200 fans, Greg Biffle won Saturday night’s race by 3.235 seconds over Jimmie Johnson. Rounding out the top-five finishers were Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Kenseth. Two cautions slowed the race for 10 laps.

The NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action on Sunday at the Kansas Speedway.

Race Results

Championship Standings