CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. hopes to change his luck this weekend when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Mechanical failures ruined what could have been two top-10 performances at season-opening races in Daytona and Phoenix. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver is contemplating some drastic action.

Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

“I told Chad I might try and find a witch doctor or something out in Vegas,” laughed Truex. “They have everything out there. If I can find a way to put an end to this bad luck, I want to do it.

We have fast cars so at this point, we need to put these first two races behind us and take the positives and move on. I have a great NAPA AUTO PARTS team.

We just need to keep doing what we know how to do and that’s to take fast Toyotas to the tracks, keep them together and deliver the results.”

This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tests Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to prepare the new Gen-6 cars for Sunday’s 400-mile event at the intermediate track.

TRUEX ON LAS VEGAS & GEN-6: “I don’t mind testing a day early at Las Vegas. You can never have enough practice especially now that we have the new Gen-6 car.

It doesn’t matter how long you have practice or how much testing you have, there will be cars on the track until NASCAR throws the red and black flag.

And even after all of that, we will always think, ‘Darn, if we only had two or three more laps.’ We are always striving for perfection so there is never enough time in my opinion to get ready for Sunday’s race.”

ON PERFORMANCE: “The first two races of the year, we’ve had fast cars. Daytona we were running top five and had a valve-spring issue. At Phoenix, we started 14th. We were about to race into the top 10 and had a piece break.

It’s something that has never happened to me before, but it happened so we’re moving forward. I am disappointed to say the least with how our season has started.

It’s time to make sure we’ve got all our stuff in gear. We can’t afford any more problems like this. I know Michael Waltrip Racing is working to get the problems fixed for us.

We’ll just go on and try and win Vegas. It’s time for the NAPA team to shake this off and move on. My teammates are running strong — Mark Martin is running well and Clint Bowyer is sitting fourth in points so MWR as a whole hasn’t missed a beat since our strong performance last year.”

Michael Waltrip Racing