Truex Contends for Victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway


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

Martin Truex Jr. Miami Recap
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CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished sixth in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started seventh and immediately showed he was one of the fastest cars on the track.

Truex led 11 laps and ran in second throughout the majority of the 267-lap event going door-to-door with Kyle Busch for the top spot. However, in the closing laps his chances for victory went away.

The NAPA driver brushed the wall with 18 to go and then needed a splash of fuel with 15 laps remaining.

Several cars stretched fuel mileage and made it to the end to finish ahead of the No. 56 despite Truex’s efforts to regain the spots he had lost by stopping for fuel. Unfortunately, he simply ran out of laps to challenge Jeff Gordon for the victory.

Truex finishes the season 11th in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“I am disappointed with this finish,” said Truex after the race. “To run top two all day and finish sixth stinks. It’s the story of our season. I don’t even know what to do about it. We didn’t even finish top 10 in points now which is disappointing as well. We outran the 24 (Jeff Gordon) all day and then he wins the race and beats us -- and now we’re not in the top 10 in points. Just a bit hard to take but we will come out strong in 2013.

“I really feel like we should have won four races this year. Sixth isn’t bad but it isn’t a reflection of the quality of car we had tonight. I know we’ve come a long way this year as an organization and as a team. I appreciate all the hard work that this NAPA team has done all season. Chad Johnston made the Chase in his first full season as a crew chief. That’s pretty impressive. The pit crew also proved that they are the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew of 2012. They got me out fast tonight. We all deserved more tonight and I feel bad about it. It stings but I’ll get over it shortly.”

Jeff Gordon crossed the finish line just 1.028 seconds ahead of Michael Waltrip Racing’s Clint Bowyer. Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five finishers.

Congratulations to the NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew. On Saturday, they won the 2012 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award. The award was voted on by all the NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chiefs. Led by Greg Miller, the crew will receive $100,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to the NASCAR Awards Ceremony at the Wynn in Las Vegas on November 30.

2012 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship Results

RANK DRIVER POINTS BEHIND
1 Brad Keselowski 2400 Leader
2 Clint Bowyer 2361 -39
3 Jimmie Johnson 2360 -40
4 Kasey Kahne 2345 -55
5 Greg Biffle 2332 -68
6 Denny Hamlin 2329 -71
7 Matt Kenseth 2324 -76
8 Kevin Harvick 2321 -79
9 Tony Stewart 2311 -89
10 Jeff Gordon 2303 -97
11 Martin Truex Jr. 2299 -101
12 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2245 -155