CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 15th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Truex’s finish puts him 14th in points. He now holds the second and final Sprint Cup Chase wild card position.
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver qualified 26th and not only battled an ill-handling NAPA Toyota but also dodged two accidents during the 160-lap event.
The NAPA KNOW HOW crew made a series of major adjustments to give Truex the grip he needed to race competitively by lap 75.
The No. 56 NAPA Toyota captured the lead on lap 95 and held it for seven laps.
The final 15 circuits saw two cautions on laps 149 and 156. The NAPA team used the first yellow to pit for four fresh tires and one final chance to tune up the No. 56 Toyota.
Truex restarted 15th for the final two-lap dash to the finish line and successfully held onto the position.
The NAPA team returns to action Sunday at Watkins Glen International for the season’s final road-course race.
“It was a hard fought 15th-place finish,” said Truex. “I was driving as hard as I could and we just couldn’t go anywhere. When we started, we were terrible, but Chad (Johnston, crew chief) made good calls on the adjustments. The pit crew did a great job on pit road. Our last run was by far, our best run all day. What’s amazing is how our car handled up front and in clean air. It was unreal. We’ll take that finish and head to my favorite road course, Watkins Glen.”
Kasey Kahne edged out Jeff Gordon by 1.392 seconds for victory. Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Nine cautions slowed the race for 35 laps and it featured 27 lead changes among 14 drivers.