CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. has unfinished business with Kansas Speedway.
In April, the Michael Waltrip Racing driver dominated the Kansas 400 by leading the most laps — 173 — before battling for the victory in the closing minutes with eventual winner and Toyota driver Denny Hamlin.
This time around, Truex faces an entirely new racing surface. To prepare, the NAPA Racing team will participate in NASCAR’s testing sessions on the 1.5-mile oval Wednesday and Thursday before Sunday’s points race.
Truex on Returning to Kansas: “With new pavement, the track will need a lot of activity so that there will be plenty of rubber down. I know officials have had cars on the track for a few days now. They took a page out of what the other tracks did and it worked. We will need to run a lot of laps to add to it. But most importantly, we need to run the laps to see what it will take to run well on Sunday. The No. 55 team went to the Goodyear tire test so we do have some data. But really, we will need to do our normal deal and see for ourselves what has changed at this track. We will work hard on it like we normally do and hopefully, we will have a fast race car. I don’t see why we shouldn’t as we’ve had fast cars all season on 1.5-mile tracks. The NAPA team is anxious to get back there to finish what we started back in April.”
On the Chase: “It was awesome to see Clint win at Charlotte and put himself back into contention. For sure we can do the same. At this point, we have nothing to lose. Our cars are fast enough to win. We just need to learn how to take advantage of our opportunities a little bit better and learn how to win so-to-speak. We gave a few away this year. The first Kansas race was an absolute heartbreaker for us. The consistency of my team has been great and our cars are so good. It’s a testament to everyone at MWR. And certainly Clint turned a top-five car into a winning car. We are a young team. We just need to take that next step. That’s all we need to do. I think it’s time to get a little more aggressive. It’s almost a miracle to wipe out our 49-point deficit, but anything can happen in this sport and we’re not going to give up.”
MWR IN 2012: MWR’s five Sprint Cup Series drivers have scored a combined record of three wins (Bowyer at Sonoma, Richmond and Charlotte ), 21 top-five and 50 top-10 finishes in 2012. MWR’s Toyotas have led 939 laps.
BREAKING 100: All three MWR teams earned top-10 finishes at Charlotte giving MWR 102 top-10 finishes since it began racing full-time in the Sprint Cup Series in 2007.