CORNELIUS, N.C. — With only Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway left in the regular season, five positions are up for grabs in NASCAR’s 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Drivers face their final chance to reach the championships in this last race before Chase berths are decided.
No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. is one of the drivers in the fiercest battle in the Chase’s 10-year history. He is 13th in the standings, 15 points out of 10th, but holds the second wild card position. Truex finished third in Atlanta despite driving with a cast on his right wrist after suffering a scaphoid fracture and sprain during the Bristol race on Aug. 24.
Truex hopes to join Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Clint Bowyer in each clinching their second-consecutive berths in the Chase for MWR.
“The cast did its job at Atlanta. It got a little soft in the palm area during the race but all and all, everything went fine. I’ve had it checked over again and had a new cast put on. We’ve made a few adjustments to this new cast and I expect it to be a whole lot better. Everything has gone well so far. I cannot complain. I mean to go to Atlanta and to have a shot at the win at the end, at that point, what pain I felt was gone.”
THOUGHTS ON FINAL RACE BEFORE THE CHASE:
“Our strategy is the same as we had last week at Atlanta. This NAPA team needs to go out and try to win the race. If we can’t, we need to get all we can. We cannot make a mistake. No matter what kind of night we are having, we will keep our heads down and focus on where we are heading towards lap 400. Depending on cautions, Richmond has a tendency to swap the field around at times. We just have to do the best job we can do at getting track position and keeping it. The goal for us is to be ready for the end. That’s all we can do at this point. We can’t get worried about the points. It is what it is. We need to focus on finishing up front and trying to win. Wherever we finish, I hope it is enough.
“To be honest, with the season we have had with all the ups and downs, I am so excited to still be in this thing. We have fought so hard this year and have overcome a lot to be in this position. It will be awesome and a huge deal for us if we can make it in again. This NAPA team is not a 12th or 13th-place team. In my opinion, we are a top-five team. We want to get in and make up for the mistakes and mishaps we experienced earlier in the year to have a great ending to our season.”
TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern Standard Time):
Friday, September 6
12:00 PM NSCS Practice Richmond ESPN2
2:30 PM NSCS Final Practice Richmond ESPN2
5:30 PM NSCS Coors Light Pole Qualifying ESPN2
Saturday, September 7
4:30 PM NASCAR RaceDay Richmond FOX Sports 1
(Martin Truex, Jr. to Appear)
7:00 PM NSCS Countdown Richmond ABC
7:30 PM NSCS: Richmomd 400 ABC
(Martin Truex, Jr. featured as In Race Reporter)
MEDIA: Truex will take part in the Wild Card Contenders media availability on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Richmond International Raceway, Amphitheater located outside Turn 1, near the Midway.
TUNE IN TO TRUEX: NASCAR RaceDay on FOX Sports 1 will interview Truex on Saturday after the driver/crew chief meeting. It airs starting at 4:30 p.m.
MWR in 2013: MWR cars have combined for two wins (Truex Jr. – Sonoma; Vickers – Loudon-1), 19 top-five and 32 top-10 finishes. The three-car team has led 589 laps and won one pole award (M. Martin – Phoenix-1). Bowyer is second in points trailing Jimmie Johnson by 28 and clinched a spot in the Chase at Bristol. Truex with one win, holds the second wild card position with one race remaining. The No. 55 is battling for a spot in the owner’s championship.