NAPA AUTO PARTS Team Rallies to Top-10 Finish at Chicagoland


Truex Just 21 Points Out of First Place in Chase

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

Martin Truex Jr. Chicagoland Recap
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CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished ninth in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway.

“We were horrible at the start -- just straight to the rear,” said Truex during his post-race interview with the media. “We were just so, so tight all day long. I don’t know what happened -- I can’t believe we missed it that bad. Good job by all the guys on this NAPA Toyota. We just had to stick with it, keep pushing and keep pounding on it. We made lots and lots and lots and lots of changes -- big changes and it just worked at the end. We just kept getting them one at a time.

“I’m just proud of Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and all the guys for the hard work and the good adjustments. We were just so tight at the beginning. I started 18th, which wasn’t that great and we went backwards pretty fast. It wasn’t looking pretty there for awhile, but just fought hard. We had good restarts all day -- had a good motor and good adjustments. We just picked them off one at a time -- it wasn’t easy, but we got it done. I really felt that we were going to be good today. I am not sure what happened, but we’ll go back and look at it and hopefully figure something out.”

The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 18th and joined the crew in working to steadily improve the Toyota’s handling throughout the race. Truex like many of the drivers battled a car that wouldn’t turn in the corners of the 1.5-mile oval. He moved into the top 10 with less than 75 laps remaining.

The top-10 result marked Truex’s 15th top-10 finish of the 2012 season.

The NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup. Truex will start the second of the 10-race Chase in ninth just 21 points out of first.

“It wasn’t the way we wanted to start the Chase,” added Truex. “We had high hopes coming in here and we really had a pretty good weekend. At the start of the race, the car was just really tight -- just plowing. I was pretty worried. We worked really hard for that top-10. At the beginning if you would have told me we were going to get a top-10, I would have told you that you were crazy. All in all it was a good day. If that was one of our bad days, we’ll take it. The guys did good -- we just had to battle and stay after it all day long. Lots and lots of big adjustments and we were able to pull out a top-10 at the end. It wasn’t a bad day and we’ll go on to New Hampshire.”

In front of an estimated crowd of 65,000 fans, Brad Keselowski won the race by 3.2 seconds over Jimmie Johnson. Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five finishers.