Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/24/14

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, poses during NASCAR media day at Daytona International Speedway on February 4, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)

CORNELIUS, N.C. —  No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. enters this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ninth place in the championship standings — just 21 markers out of first.

The one-mile oval will be the ultimate test for the NAPA driver and crew chief Chad Johnston as the duo believes this track will be the toughest to tackle of the remaining nine races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. In 13 starts at NHMS, Truex has three top-five and five top-10 finishes. The Mayetta, N.J., native has an average finish of 14.8 and has led 50 laps.

MARTIN TRUEX JR. ON RETURNING TO NHMS: “New Hampshire hasn’t been one of my best tracks since joining Michael Waltrip Racing. I don’t know why. We’ve struggled a little bit. In the spring race, we had a decent run and showed some gains. It is a tough track to get a hold of. It’s almost impossible to get your car to turn in the corners and the tires chatter. It’s the same for everyone, it is just a matter of being smarter. I feel like we are taking some new stuff back there and our NAPA Toyota should be a whole lot better. Hopefully, we can go there and continue to run up front like we have been doing lately. It’s a place that has always been special for me. I enjoy going there so I hope I can keep our momentum going and have a strong run.”

CREW CHIEF CHAD JOHNSTON: “I like the plan we have for this weekend. We learned a lot of stuff at Richmond and it translated into a fast NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. We also learned a few things at our Martinsville tire test that should carry over to this weekend. Richmond, Martinsville and New Hampshire are not similar in configuration, but you attack them with the same short-track mentality. I will be honest, in the past I’ve never been overly thrilled to go to New Hampshire. However, this time I am really looking forward to it.”

ON PREPARING FOR SECOND RACE IN THE CHASE: “Every race is a new start. Last week at Chicago, we came out of there with a top-10 finish despite dealing with a temperamental car. We could have had more issues after that practice incident so we were lucky. We’ve move on. Now it’s all about New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It’s all about optimizing points at each race and taking all we can get.”

TRUEX FAMILY AT NHMS: Five times a Truex has crossed the finish line first in one of NASCAR’s major divisions. The NAPA driver owns three victories at the “Magic Mile.” He won the 2000 and 2003 K&N Pro Series East races and the 2005 Nationwide Series race. Martin Truex Sr. won the 1994 East race and Martin Jr.’s younger brother Ryan repeated that feat in 2010.

FIRST 27 RACES: Truex Jr. owns one pole, six top-five and 15 top-10 finishes through the first 27 races this season. He has led 423 laps in 11 different races with an average finish of 11.2.

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