Martin Truex Jr and the Napa racing team fought hard, made some solid choices, and earned a 7th place finish in Richmond last night.
They qualified 26th and for the first few laps bounced around in the 20's, eventually going a lap down. Then on lap 153 there was a caution. Instead of taking the wave around they chose to pit, making adjustments to the track bar, getting new tires, and filling up. This strategy paid off 10 laps after the restart when another yellow flag gave the team the lucky dog.
After the restart the number 56 Toyota flew through the pack. finding the top 10 just 60 short laps later. They never left it. The car continued to move up and after reaching as high as 6th place, had fallen back to 7th when the 4th caution slowed everyone down. Though they had just pitted under green, they hit the pits for tires and fuel. After two more caution flags, Truex found himself in 5th place with 10 laps to go. The final restart wasn't great as Carl Edwards used the apron to pass (a move Crew Chief Pat Tryson predicted over the radio), then Montoya was drafted past Truex by Ryan Newman on the final lap. But Truex held off Newman for 7th.
Once again the pit crew was awesome. Martin was full of praise both on the track and in interviews, stating he had never had a car be so good, that had started so bad, in his entire career. They did lead 1 lap, waiting to pit during greenflag stops, so they got the bonus points.
This is just the latest in a string of good runs by Martin, including two 12th place finishes (Bristol, Talladega), a 9th place finish (Texas), and a 5th place finish (Martinsville). This Race moves Martin into 14th place in the overall standings, only 17 points out of 12th.
Now we look forward to Darlington next week. GO TRUEX!!!