No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. contended for the victory Sunday at Watkins Glen International en route to a third-place finish. The result catapulted the Michael Waltrip Racing driver from 14th to 10th place in the standings with just four races remaining until the Chase.
Going into this weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway where Truex finished third in June, the driver finds himself involved in an intense battle for one of the 12 Chase berths. Only 12 points separate positions eight through 12. Truex admits the point standings are close but he’s done being preoccupied with it.
“This season it seemed like every time we got into a comfortable situation in the standings, something out of our control happened like a mechanical issue, wreck or engine problem. I finally stopped paying attention to the points. It is what it is. It’s extremely close. At this point, we have to continue to run as well as we can and if we do our job, the points will work out. We are either going to qualify for our second-straight Chase or we are not. I know that we are giving it our all each and every week. Whatever comes with that, we are going to have to be satisfied with it and move on.”
Martin Truex Jr. Winning at Michigan: “We’ve run really well there and I’ve always really liked that race track. I was worried that when they paved it I would not like it as much, but I still enjoy it. Typically, I like the faster race tracks -- the bigger corners and more time spent in the throttle. Those are the kind of tracks typically that suit my style or that I’ve been really good at. Michigan is no different. I really enjoy going there -- it’s super fast and it’s a lot of fun to race on. The track is obviously getting better each time we go back with being paved last year. We will get the tires to where they start wearing out then we’ll be able to start putting on some really good racing.”