CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. said there’s a lot of racing left in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, but it’s time to start cutting into Chase leader Brad Keselowski’s 47-point lead over the eighth-place Michael Waltrip Racing team.
Saturday night’s 500-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway marks the fifth of NASCAR’s 10-race Chase. Truex is just 12 points out of fourth-place, but it’s first place he wants to catch. The No. 56 team finished 12th at the 1.5-mile track in May so it could be a place where Truex begins a comeback.
Truex on Racing at Charlotte: “I always look forward to this race. I especially like racing this close to our home and the race shop. This is another race where I have a lot of friends and family that come in for the weekend. It’s kind of a home game for all of us. I really like the track schedule and enjoy qualifying on Thursday night. It’s always a neat qualifying session. With the weather we have been having, the track is going to be lightning fast. Charlotte has been a challenge for this NAPA team so we have a little work to do. I think we are still very capable of going into it this weekend with a chance to contend for the race win and have the NAPA Toyota up front.”
On Standings: “I was hoping to come out of Talladega a little closer in points than we did. We gained on a lot of the guys around us. Obviously, the No. 24 and No. 2 teams beat us and we lost a little more ground to the leader. But, the standings from second to seven have gotten a lot tighter. We are in range. We race every weekend to earn maximum points. That’s what we are doing. There is still a lot of racing left to go and some really good tracks coming up for us. I hope we can be knocking on the top-five after Charlotte or Kansas. All I want is to go into Homestead with a chance. That’s my goal right now.”
NAPA KNOW HOW! On Friday at 1 p.m. on CMS’s pit road, NAPA Racing truck driver William “Stump” Lewis, will compete in the finals of the Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenge. Lewis is one of only four drivers competing for the $30,000 grand prize.
MWR IN 2012: MWR’s five Sprint Cup Series drivers have scored a combined record of two wins (Bowyer at Sonoma and Richmond), 20 top-five and 47 top-10 finishes in 2012. MWR’s Toyotas have led 908 laps.
100 TOP 10s: MWR owns 99 top-10 finishes since it began racing full-time in the Sprint Cup Series in 2007.