CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 16th in Sunday’s 500-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup race after two Martinsville Speedway crashes prevented a top-10 finish.
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver lined up 15th and quickly made it into the top 10 within the first 25 circuits. Truex appeared to be cruising to his 14th top-10 of the season when he was collected in a crash on a lap 182 restart. The No. 56 team pitted multiple times for repairs during the caution to take the restart 25th on lap 191.
Despite the damage, Truex worked his way through traffic to climb to 10th by lap 284. Then on lap 327, the No. 56 was involved in another accident, but remained on the lead lap to salvage a 16th-place finish.
The NAPA team returns to action Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway where Truex finished second in April.
“This place can be so frustrating,” said Truex after the race. “Chad (Johnston, crew chief) has been bringing me the best cars I have ever had at this place and we keep getting crashed. On the restart, I just got pushed into the car in front of me. They never let off to the point my hood was up. I was just along for the ride. I have to hand it to my NAPA KNOW HOW crew for making quick repairs to keep me on the lead lap. We made the best of it. It took us 100 laps but wow, we got back to 10th. Then we got into another accident so needless to say it was an emotional roller coaster for us today!”
Jeff Gordon beat Matt Kenseth by 0.605 seconds for the victory. Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five. 17 cautions slowed the race for 111 laps and featured 15 lead changes among eight drivers.