Truex Searching for More

Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. is seven positions better than he was at this time last season. (Photo: Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr. has climbed to 13th in the Sprint Cup Series point standings but still feels there's something missing on his Michael Waltrip Racing team.
 
Although the driver of the NAPA Toyota has enjoyed several strong runs in the early portion of the season, finishing races just as well has been a struggle.
 
"We're scratching our heads a little bit trying to figure out what we are missing," said Truex. "The last two weeks we have started off extremely strong and then faded in the second half of the race."
 
Both at Bristol Motor Speedway and last week's trip to Auto Club Speedway has seen Truex fall into the frustrating pattern of running upfront in the first stages of the race only to have some issue that drops him back in the second half.
 
"What we faced at Bristol is very similar to what we experienced at Fontana," he said. "I was able to run fast by moving the line up and finding clean track. Once the clean track is up against the wall and there isn't a clean surface left, that's when we seem to struggle. We experienced this issue last year as well. It's just magnified now with how strong we come out of the box."
 
Despite the hiccups, Truex is seven positions better than he was at this time last season and the marked improvement has not gone unnoticed.
 
But he now must tackle a track in Martinsville Speedway and this Sunday's Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 where things haven't come easy during his Sprint Cup Series career.
 
In 11 starts at the Virginia short track Truex has scored one top five and a pair of top-10 finishes. However, his average finish is below 23rd and he realizes there's room for improvement.
 
Truex is banking that his team will have the split personality race issue straightened out come Sunday.
 
"I expect we'll get another chance to figure this issue out in Martinsville because it’s concrete like Bristol," Truex Jr. said. "We'll continue to work hard to come up with a solution. It's something that's hard to test for so it's up to us to find the right adjustment during the race that will get grip in the car when the track is rubbered up and slick.
 
"Once we figure it out, and I hope it's at Martinsville, the NAPA team is going to be in really, really good shape."

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