CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. plans to continue Michael Waltrip Racing’s success at Bristol Motor Speedway when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on Saturday night. MWR’s three drivers own the best average finish in the last three races.
The MWR surge began in March 2012 when Truex, Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers finished third, fourth and fifth — a first for the organization co-owned by Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman.
There’s a lot on the line Saturday night. Truex is 12th in the standings with three races remaining before the start of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. Truex holds the second and final provisional wild card (653 points, one win) as he seeks his second consecutive Chase berth. Kasey Kahne has the first transfer spot with 659 points and two victories. Only 14 points separate positions eight through 12 and 10 points separate Truex from 10th place in the standings.
WINNING AT BRISTOL: “The NAPA team has been close to winning there. We’ve been second there a few times and third -- we’ve been really good there. It would be a fun one to win. I won there in Nationwide and it sure would be great to win. We want to win everywhere, but there are certain tracks that are really cool to win at and Bristol is definitely one of them with that night race and getting to drive on top of the building with the fireworks shooting off. Yeah, that is one I want to get especially considering how close the points are with three races to go. A second win would certainly help us if we need a wild card to make it into the Chase.”
RACING WITH VICKERS: “He's been a great part-time teammate. He fits in so well with our group that Monday’s announcement to put Vickers in the seat for 12 of the 13 races left makes the most sense. It gives us all a head start and allows for a seamless transition into 2014. I think with the few races he's run with us this year -- obviously it includes a win, he's done an incredible job. Now, he's going to be able to help us even more as we try to lock up two of our three cars into the Chase with just three races to go.”
Michael Waltrip Racing