Martin Truex Jr. Charlotte Recap Video (via Michael Waltrip Racing)
Martin Truex Jr. Charlotte Recap
CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished second in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway, his second straight runner-up finish at the track.
“Well, it’s a lot different mood after this one too,” said Truex Jr. “After the first one, I was disappointed. Today, I’m happy with my team and my race car we had all day. We really had to battle for this one. We got track position early. We got up towards the top-five and we had a strong car. It was a little bit tight. Then we got caught by that caution deal to be put us a lap down. We had to go all the way to the back. It was just tough to pass so it was a battle all day long to regain all the track position we lost. I am proud of the guys on the NAPA Toyota. They never gave up. We just kept digging all day long. That’s a good run for us, for sure. We were just a little bit too tight there at the end there to run with Matt (Kenseth). It was a good run and we’ll go on to Martinsville.”
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started 16th and quickly worked his way to the front of the field climbing into the top 10 by lap 38 and top five by lap 76. Truex lost ground when a caution flag fell after he pitted, pinning him a lap down. After taking advantage of the wave-around rule, the No. 56 surged from 25th to 10th.
“I thought the track was great,” added the driver. “The outside lane is going to come in really, really good -- probably by next year, I would say. The winters here are pretty rough and I expect it will weather the track in nicely. Once the track gets to where it doesn’t need to get rubbered-in so much to get any grip and the tires, we can soften the tires a little. This place is going to be awesome with the progressive banking. You could already feel the track coming in today. The tire is just kind of hard and it was hard to work that outer groove in, but once the outside got working it was actually pretty darn good. It’s going to be a cool, racey track here in the future and they did a great job with it.”
Truex moved from fourth to second on a restart with 28 laps to go in the 400-mile race. The NAPA Know How Toyota was closing, but finished 0.495 seconds behind winner Matt Kenseth.
Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five finishers.
The Kansas 400 featured 16 lead changes among 10 drivers.
The NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Truex will start the seventh race in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in sixth, 43 points out of first.