CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 38th in Sunday’s 400-mile race at Dover International Speedway. An otherwise strong run by Truex at Dover was interrupted by mechanical trouble.
“Something let go in the motor,” said Truex. “It just dropped a cylinder and started smoking all at once. Same thing happened to the 20 (Matt Kenseth) it looked like. It’s pretty disappointing. We had a great NAPA Toyota today. It was really good. We were one or two adjustments away there from having something for them. We were really good on long runs. We were a little too tight on the short runs. Damn, I wish we could have made it to the end.”
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver and native of nearby Mayetta, N.J. started on the front row in second position. The race’s early stages saw Truex drive door-to-door with fellow Toyota teammates Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch before settling into the top three.
Truex raced in second at the halfway mark and on pace to challenge for the top spot.
Crew Chief Chad Johnston made small adjustments to fine tune the No. 56 on the mile track in the 90-degree heat. Truex radioed his team with about 150 laps remaining that “we have a chance to win this.”
However, disaster struck on lap 279 when Truex’s day came to an end with mechanical issue under the hood forced him to the garage.
The finish dropped him to 14th in the driver standings.
If you missed Truex at Dover, catch the No. 56 NAPA KNOW HOW crew Sunday, June 9th at Pocono Raceway. The Party in the Poconos 400 will be broadcast live on TNT at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Nick Palermo is a freelance automotive writer and NAPA Know How blogger. Since becoming an auto news and reviews contributor at AutoTrader.com in 2011, he has broadened his coverage of the automotive industry to include topics like new car technology, antiques and classics, DIY maintenance and repair, industry news and motorsports. A committed advocate for automotive media professionals, Nick is a member of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association.