Truex Dominates at Kansas En Route to Runner-Up Finish

Leads 173 Laps and Moves to Second Place in the Driver Standings – Only 15 Points Out of First

CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished second in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. Truex qualified sixth and led 173 laps - the most of any driver to earn the 3M Lap Leader of the Race award.

“What can I say about this team,” said Truex, who led the most laps of the race. “All the NAPA guys have done a nice job -- MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing), Toyota -- everybody’s put a lot into this and it’s fun to drive these race cars. It’s just disappointing right now. We had them. I don’t know what happened with that last set of tires. They were terrible. I couldn’t go at all -- was just dead sideways, wrecking. At the end of the run, I was back to being okay again, but by then he (Denny Hamlin) had already passed me and clean air is everything.”

After the NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew completed a green-flag stop on lap 44, the NAPA Toyota raced to the top spot. The NAPA team held the lead until shortly after the team's final stop of the day on lap 223. But, Truex didn’t go down without a fight. With three laps to go, he raced side-by-side with the leader Denny Hamlin. A small bobble kept the NAPA driver from making the pass and winning the race.

“I don’t think it was the sun,” added Truex. “We put that last set of tires on and it wasn’t anything like it had been all day long -- just bad, bad loose for the first 20 laps of that run. We just lost the lead and once you lose the lead, it’s hard to get it back. I was a little better than he (Denny Hamlin) was at the end, but when he’s running where you are, it’s just about impossible to pass him. I just have to thank everyone at MWR, everyone at Toyota and everyone on this NAPA team -- Chad Johnston (crew chief) is doing a phenomenal job. I know we’re going to get one, we just hate giving them away like that.”

In front of 75,000 fans, Hamlin edged out Truex by a mere 0.700 seconds. Truex’s second-place finish was his fifth consecutive top-10 – the longest streak of his career. The strong result also moved Truex to second in the championship point standings and only 15 points out of first.

There were 14 lead changes among nine drivers. Rounding out the top-five were Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle.

Next Saturday night, the NAPA AUTO PARTS team will try to close the deal at Richmond International Raceway.

Race Results

Championship Standings