Martin Truex Jr. Dover Recap Video (via Michael Waltrip Racing)
Martin Truex Jr. Dover Recap
Martin Truex Jr. Dover Recap
CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished seventh in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway.
"Oh my goodness, I'm beginning to not like this place so much anymore," smiled Truex after climbing out of his Toyota Camry. "It was tough. Man, we started in the back in 18th. I say it's the back but it's not that far back, but it was tough back there. Track position is huge. We'd get out there by ourselves in clean air and I could run as fast as the leader and the car didn't drive so badly. Then, I'd catch the next guy ahead of me and I'd get to him and I'd about crash. It was just all I could do to hang on today a couple times. It was just a crazy day. This place is tough. You get in traffic and these cars are so sensitive that you just can't do anything with them."
Truex started 18th at his home track and by the halfway mark, he ran within the top 10. Crew chief Chad Johnston made a series of adjustments throughout the 400-lap race to help tighten up the NAPA Toyota. Truex's biggest complaint was loose when trying to pass.
"I would say probably the second half of the race we were really good on the long runs, as long as we could get some clean race track," continued Truex. "There were times when we were faster than the leader. Not the very last run, but the one before that when it went green for a long time. We had dropped back on the restart to 17th or so and by the end of that really long run, I think we were back to seventh or eighth. The car was good on the long runs. It's just tough in traffic. Chad did a good job. We did a good job in the beginning. We made a lot of changes. Chad did a good job adjusting on it and hanging in there with me. I was yelling at him a little bit and it was tough. It was just one of those long days where you drive your guts out for a top-10."
A 30-lap shootout determined the finish with the NAPA driver claiming his eighth top-10 finish of the season. The result moves Truex to sixth place in the championship standings - 45 points out of the lead.
Winning in front of an estimated crowd of 85,000 fans, Jimmie Johnson won the Autism Speaks 400 by 2.550 seconds beating Kevin Harvick. Rounding out the top-five were Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Clint Bowyer.
The race was completed in three hours, 15 minutes and featured 17 lead changes among seven drivers.
At the conclusion of the race, Johnston won the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award. The $5,500 award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times (improved 0.009 seconds). Plus, he received a call from wife Stacey notifying him that their unborn son was on his way.
Next Sunday, the NAPA team returns to action at Pocono International Raceway.