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 -> http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1763
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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