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Truex needs race win to confirm status as a contender

By admin | April 26, 2012

By Richard Allen

Martin Truex, Jr. has put together a very solid start to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. After eight races, he has three top-5s and six top-10s which has him in the 2nd spot of the overall standings. But even with that quality beginning, the Michael Waltrip Racing driver does not yet have a race win.

This past Sunday in Kansas, Truex led 173 of 267 laps and looked like a sure winner until he was overtaken in the waning laps. The New Jersey driver blamed a mismatched set of tires for causing his car’s handling to go away after the sun came out from behind the cloud cover that had dominated the day. It was a disappointing ending to a strong day.

Truex came into NASCAR’s top class in 2006 as a two time Nationwide Series champion. Much was expected of him considering the credentials he brought with him and considering that he was stepping into a top ride at Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

And the young driver looked as if he was ready to deliver on that promise when he won a Sprint Cup race in 2007 at Dover during his second full season at the top level of the sport. He scored thirteen additional top-10 finishes that year and followed that up with eleven more top-10s the next season.

But much has transpired since then. DEI basically went away as it merged with Chip Ganassi’s organization and Truex’s career went into a tailspin. His numbers of top-10s fell into the single digits over the next two seasons and he has not won since that initial Dover triumph.

While it appears as though Truex is in the process of regaining that swagger he once had, it is important for him to capture a checkered flag to show that he truly belongs among the NASCAR elites. Winning drivers and teams make adjustments throughout each race to make their cars better and to adapt to any changes the track and weather might bring.

Even though he is now a veteran racer, Martin Truex, Jr. and his entire MWR team still have to learn how to win. Sunday’s loss may have been painful, but if a lesson was learned then it may yet prove beneficial.

From April 19th- Surprise Team of 2012: Michael Waltrip Racing ->

Audio Podcast: Random thoughts on Trevor Bayne, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch -> Random thoughts on Trevor Bayne, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch

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2 Responses to “Truex needs race win to confirm status as a contender”

  1. mikeyfan Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Rich, It is hard to adjust a car when you have dominated the race for so long. I think the 56 team has proven all year long that it can keep up with the track. There run at Bristol was incredible, and they made the proper adjustments thier last pit stop to finish 3rd when they started out around 15th after their last stop. In fact they had moved into the 6th position just before the yellow came out and was closing fast on the 88 when it flew. One of the reasons the 88 pitted for tires. Also, no one is talking about the fact the 56 was faster than the 11 at the end of the race. 10 more laps and, well you know where that is going right?

  2. Sue Rarick Says:
    April 27th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Some drivers may be good but just don’t have the heart to be winners. Truex has been in some really good cars and only has one win to show for it.

    I wish him well and hope he gets another win but IMO he’ll always underperform the car he’s in.