By: Eric Mauk
In the midst of the best year of his seven-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career, Martin Truex Jr. announced today that he was very close to getting a deal done to stay at Michael Waltrip Racing for the 2013 season.
"We're very, very close. I'm not going to say it's done, but it's basically done. I'm very, very happy about that,” Truex said. “I guess, it's one of those deals where we had to work out some details, but there was never a time when the whole thought of going through contract negotiations again came up that there was never a thought of me saying, ‘What are my options, what am I thinking?’ There was none of that. It was, ‘how can we get this deal done and moving forward?’”
The 32-year-old native of Mayetta, New Jersey is currently fifth in the Cup points despite not having won a race this season. Truex has used a new-found consistency to put his #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry in the thick of the title hunt, having finished on the lead lap in 18 of 21 starts this year. Truex has also finished 99.5 percent of the scheduled laps this year – far and away the best of his career.
“We've come a long way. When you put that much work into something, you don't want to just say, 'Ah, I can do this somewhere else,' because it's not that easy,” told Truex. “I've put a lot of effort into being part of that team, to help them build a program and they've invested a lot into me to be a part of that program. It's something that I felt we both wanted to continue and there was never any talk about whether we were going to try to renew it or not, it was what do we have to do to get this deal done from both sides.
“It was really probably the easiest - well it's not done yet - it's been a very easy process and we've really concentrated on racing and just kind of tried to do this on the side to get it done. It's been a pleasure to work with all those guys throughout not only this, but throughout the past three years and I'm looking forward to doing that for a long time to come.”