Martin Truex Jr. brought out an early caution at Homestead when his No. 78 Chevrolet began smoking in the opening laps of the first practice session for the Ford 400. He spent less than 30 minutes in the garage before returning to the track.
Martin Truex Jr. is not necessarily the driver who first comes to mind on unrestricted, intermediate speedways, but Homestead has been extremely kind to him during his career. He has never finished worse than 11th as a fulltime racer on this track.
Martin Truex Jr. is closing out the season with a lot of strength. His 12th-place finish at Phoenix was his sixth top-15 during the nine races that make up the Chase.
Martin Truex Jr posted the quickest 10-lap average in the Saturday morning practice session for the AAA Texas 500. His best time was 190.246 mph during his first 10 laps on the track.
Martin Truex Jr. enters the AAA Texas 500 with a three-race, top-15 streak on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. He finished 14th at Chicagoland and Charlotte, but had his best effort at Kansas in the Hollywood Casino 400 when he scored a fourth.
Martin Truex Jr. has improved in his last four races this season. After finishing 25th at Richmond, he scored a 14th at Chicagoland, a 12th at New Hampshire, a seventh at Dover, and finally a fourth in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas.
Martin Truex Jr. earned his first top-15 in the last 15 starts with a seventh in the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.
Martin Truex Jr. had one of his best finishes this year on the short, flat track of Richmond in the Toyota Owners 400; he finished 10th, which he followed up with a 12th at New Hampshire in another effort on this track type.
Martin Truex Jr. will have a steep hill to climb on Saturday. He qualified only 29th for the Federated Auto Parts 400.
Martin Truex Jr. finished in the top five in his last two Atlanta attempts with Michael Waltrip Racing. The No. 78 team finished fourth last year with Kurt Busch behind the wheel and they both hope to keep that momentum alive.
In his last six races, Martin Truex Jr. has scored two top-10s with an average finish of 20.8.
Martin Truex Jr.’s dark horse status took a bit of a hit in the first practice for the Cheez-it 355k at the Glen. He reported that he was loose everyone and when queried admitted that he was "not close."
Martin Truex Jr. will be one of this week’s best values in the Cheez-it 355k at the Glen. Seven of his last eight attempts on this track type ended in top-15 results.
Martin Truex Jr. is showing an uneven tendency on flat tracks in 2014. In six starts he has top 15 finishes at Richmond, Pocono, and New Hampshire but his other three efforts ended in the 20s at Phoenix, Martinsville, and Indy.