Mechanical Issue Costs NAPA Filters Toyota Top-10 Finish at Phoenix


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

Martin Truex Jr. Phoenix Recap
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CORNELIUS, N.C. – Mechanical issues left No. 56 NAPA Filters Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. with a 36th-place finish in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Truex raced in 12th but reported a loss of power at lap 50 shortly after the Michael Waltrip Racing team’s first pit stop.

Truex went to the garage for repairs. The NAPA Filters Toyota returned to the track several laps later and recorded lap times equal to the top-10 cars throughout the remainder of the race.

“Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks and yet, the last two races have not been good at all for us,” said Truex after the race. “Last year, we went out on lap 2. This year we went behind the wall 50 laps in. Something broke in the gear and it caused me to lose power. It felt like the axles were out of it. It’s a shame. We worked on our NAPA Filters Toyota all weekend long and when it was time to race, I was very happy with the overall balance of my race car. I told Chad, I wish we had a time machine because when we went back out, my NAPA Filters Toyota kept getting faster and faster. The rest of the cars seemed like they were slowing down. I guess I’d rather be fast and have stuff like this happen than have a slow car and deal with something breaking. It’s great to see how fast we could get our car going. We learned a bunch out there today that will definitely help us when we come back and I think it will help us next week at Vegas. It was a lot of fun out there today. I just wished the gear would have held up for us.”

Carl Edwards edged out Jimmie Johnson by 0.129 seconds for the victory. Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out top-five. Eight cautions slowed the race for 43 laps. The race featured 12 lead changes among nine drivers.

The NAPA team returns to action Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.