CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 10th in Sunday's 90-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International.
The top-10 result moves the NAPA team to sixth in points with a 75-point lead on 11th place with just four races remaining before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
"Man, it was rough," said the NAPA driver after climbing out of his Toyota on pit road. "We dodged a big bullet there with a 10th-place finish. We had a good car. The NAPA Toyota was fast."
Truex started ninth and climbed to third before the first pit stop under caution on lap 27. The driver's biggest handling issue with loose through both the right and left hand corners. Crew chief Chad Johnston had the NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew make air pressure changes to help tighten up the NAPA Toyota.
The NAPA team looked poised to battle for the victory but Truex ran out of fuel just seconds before a caution flag waved on lap 59. Fortunately, he made it back to pit lane but lined-up 22nd on the lap 62 restart.
From that point on, the Michael Waltrip Racing driver used some aggressive driving and two cautions to gain 10 positions during the final laps to rally back and score his 12th top-10 finish of the season.
"We were running third and one lap from pitting when we ran out of gas and the caution came out," Truex added. "We pitted and had to go to the tail end of the longest line since pit road was closed during our stop. I think at that point, we had only 25 laps to go and we restarted 22nd. We had to pass a lot of cars to get back to 10th. Man, if we didn't run out of gas, we were going to get us another top-five. Those kinds of days when you make mistakes, you've got to battle back. It was a good points day for us. We dodged a big bullet by being able to come back through the field like that. We had a good NAPA Toyota, obviously."
The NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.
Winning the race in one of the most exciting finishes so far this season was Marcos Ambrose. Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Sam Hornish Jr. rounded out the top-five finishers.