CORNELIUS, N.C.— No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Martin Truex Jr. might be 20th in points but closer inspection of NASCAR’s loop data shows his Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota is as fast as the sport’s best. A variety of issues have thwarted good runs in 2011, but it’s clear from the data that once Truex avoids the maladies, he and his car have as much speed as anyone battling for one of the 12 spots in the Chase. Turning that speed into a victory could come this weekend when the Mayetta, N.J. native returns to his home track of Dover (Del.) International Speedway where he earned his lone Sprint Cup victory in 2007.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. THOUGHTS HEADING INTO DOVER: “I think the most important thing for us is understanding how fortunate we are because our cars are fast. We’ve performed well at just about all the tracks this year. We’ve been a top-five, top-10 car most places. We’re competitive, but we just haven’t been able to take advantage of it. If we can just get all the little pieces together and do all the little things right, we are going to turn an OK season into a great one.
“I’m hoping that happens this weekend at Dover. It will be my 200th Sprint Cup start. It’s also where I won my first Sprint Cup race and last year I got my first pole with the team. A lot of good things have happened there and it’s one of my favorite tracks. It’s close to home. Last fall, we had a really good car and ran up in the top two or three for most of the race. Our NAPA Toyota has been really fast all season long so with all the good stats at Dover, maybe we can add another by getting us a win.”