Martin Truex Jr.: 5 Reasons He's Driving so Well This NASCAR Sprint Cup Season

Hugo Olguin@@RealHugoOlguinContributor IIIApril 25, 2012

Martin Truex Jr.: 5 Reasons He's Driving so Well This NASCAR Sprint Cup Season

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    The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season has had plenty of surprises when it comes which drivers are struggling and which drivers are on the rise. 

    One of those drivers on the rise is Martin Truex Jr.

    Truex has been one of the most consistent drivers so far this season.  In eight races, Truex has three Top 5 finishes, six Top 10 finishes and he won the pole once.  He's sitting second in points, just 15 points out of first place.  

    Just last weekend in Kansas, Truex just came up short at the end after leading the most laps.  

    There are many factors as to why Truex is having a great start to this season. Here are the top five reasons why Truex is doing so well this season.

5. Truex Is Riding the Momentum He Had at the End of Last Season

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    While last season what not a good season for the most part for Truex, the last few races gave the NASCAR world a preview of what might have been to come for the No. 56 NAPA Toyota.

    In four of the last five races of the 2011 season, Truex had four Top 10s including a third-place finish in the last race at Homestead.

    What made this stretch of good finishes impressive was the fact that Truex and his team were running better without crew chief Chad Johnston, who was suspended after Talladega.

    Those last few races gave Truex hope and the belief that he and his team could run well and get the good finishes they desperately needed, and that's exactly what they have been getting this season.

    Based off last weekend's race in Kansas, Truex is going to get into victory lane in near future.

4. Truex and Crew Chief Chad Johnston Are Working Better Together

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    Nobody realizes that the relationship between Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Chad Johnston is still fairly new and still developing.

    A lot of people are focused on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his crew chief, Steve Letarte, growing and getting better in their second season, while everyone forgot about Truex and Johnston doing the same thing.

    In fact, Truex and Johnston have not been together for a full season yet. Johnston began leading Truex's team last June at Pocono. Johnston was even suspended for the last few races in 2011 after violations found at Talladega. 

    Their working relationship is growing and getting better. This team is getting better and better as the season goes on.  

    But I don't think they mind being under the radar and riding their momentum.

3. Michael Waltrip Racing Is Getting Better as a Whole

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    While Truex has been leading the charge at Michael Waltrip Racing, his teammates are right behind him.

    MWR is starting to prove that it can run with the top-tier teams in the Sprint Cup Series. Clint Bowyer is running well sitting 11th in points with two Top 5s and three Top-10 finishes.  

    Mark Martin is doing well during his part-time schedule. In six starts, Martin has a pole and three Top-10 finishes.

    Even Brian Vickers did well in Bristol, finishing fifth.

    MWR is on the rise, but it need wins to be taken seriously among the elite in NASCAR.

2. The Competition Is Struggling to Stay Consistent

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    With Truex moving up the points, a lot of the competition has been having a tough time being consistent.

    While we see a few drivers consistently running well like Biffle, Earnhardt Jr., and Kenseth, there are a bunch of big names digging themselves out of their holes.  

    Jimmie Johnson is still recovering from his crash at Daytona. Jeff Gordon can't catch a break lately with crashes or mechanical problems. And there's Kyle Busch who doesn't look like the Kyle Busch we're use to seeing. 

    Tony Stewart has two wins, but mediocre finishes to go with his finishes. Carl Edwards has not been up in the Top 5 much this season. Kasey Kahne has had a rough start to this season, digging himself out of a giant hole.

    The list goes on and on. Time will tell on which drivers can get consistent enough catch Truex.

1. Truex Knows He's Under Pressure to Do Well This Season

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    Martin Truex, Jr., came into the 2012 season knowing he was under the pressure to run well or else possibly lose his ride at MWR.

    Truex has not won since 2007, and questions have come up whether Truex could run well and ever make it in the Sprint Cup Series.

    He is in a contract year with MWR, and his sponsor NAPA is in their final year of its contract. This is the year Truex had to show everyone that he belongs in the Sprint Cup Series and save his job.

    While Truex is off to a very fast start, I believe he still needs to get into victory lane this season to solidify himself.

    I believe that Truex will take a trip to victory lane real soon.