Truex Earns 12th Place At Michigan International Speedway

Top-15 Finish Keeps NAPA Team in Seventh Place in Championship Standings

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

Martin Truex Jr. Michigan Recap
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Martin Truex Jr. Michigan Recap
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CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 12th in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

Truex started 16th in the 400-mile race that began two hours late due to rain. Once the race settled in, the NAPA driver produced top-10 lap times and patiently worked his way up through the field. Interim crew chief Scott Miller implemented several strategies before the halfway mark, but after two green-flag pit stops, caution flags flew just moments later. The ill-timed yellow-flag periods cost Truex valuable track position and forced Miller to throw out the proposed plans.

Despite the loss in real estate, the NAPA Toyota proved to be one of the fastest cars on the track. Each time, the driver raced back up into the top 12 with his sights focused in on the top-10.

"Our NAPA Toyota was really good all day long," stated Truex. "We just kept pitting at the wrong time. It was one of those deals where we would pit and the caution would come out. It put us way in the back. We would go from dead last and race back to like 13th or something. Then we had a bad restart where I got my fender knocked in and so I got tight. It was just one of those days where we couldn't catch a break, but the car was super fast. Fortunately, we were able to come back -- we passed a ton of cars today. It's hard to pass here so that says a lot about our NAPA Toyota."

After the halfway mark, Truex dodged two wrecks on laps 126 and 133. The final incident on lap 133 saw Truex and Jimmie Johnson in a compromising situation after Denny Hamlin dove down low creating a three-wide maneuver. The NAPA driver and Johnson made contact, but fortunately Truex's roughed-up sheet metal did not create a serious problem. Hamlin on the other hand brought out the caution flag and a need for fire extinguishers.

The NAPA team's final green-flag stop on lap 163 gave Truex a well-balanced NAPA Toyota. His lap times in the closing circuits were the fastest of all the competitors. The NAPA Toyota climbed from 16th to the 12th-place finish.

The top-15 result keeps Truex in seventh place in the championship points standings, only 17 points out of the top five.

The NAPA team participates in the first road-course race of the season next Sunday in Sonoma, Calif.

In front of an estimated crowd of 82,000 fans, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended his 143-race winless streak by edging out Tony Stewart by 5.393 seconds for the victory. Rounding out the top-five were Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Johnson.

The race was completed in two hours, 52 minutes and featured 23 lead changes among 14 drivers.

Race Results

Championship Standings