Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. stands on pit road before Budweiser Duel 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Terry Renna

Martinsville Speedway wasn’t kind to Martin Truex Jr. — until he joined Michael Waltrip Racing.

The Stafford Township native has been in contention for the win in three of the six NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville since he joined MWR in 2010. He has two fifth-place finishes and an eighth.

Previously, Truex never had finished higher than 10th, with an average finish of 24th in eight career races.

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Truex hopes to keep the recent trend going Sunday after a week off. He is 19th in the standings through five races.

“I have a lot of confidence with what we are taking to Martinsville and since joining MWR, I’ve had fast cars at Martinsville,” Truex said in quotes provided this week by MWR. “I used to think it was one of my toughest tracks, but since joining MWR, I feel like we’ve always been a contender.”

Truex said his team did some testing at Martinsville late last season for Goodyear and he is confident he will have a strong car.

“I am up for the challenge that I think Martinsville will create for this new 2013 Napa Toyota,” he said. “The track is so much different from any place we race or go to test for that matter. … My team has a little experience running the newer-style car with less weight, but we haven’t been there with the rear camber change.

“With all that said, I expect it to be different and I think it is going to be one of those deals where we will have to work on the car during the entire weekend as this track changes so much from Friday to Sunday. The key is to keep after the car and hope we can hit on as many good things as possible. I am really looking forward to that challenge. We have had some really good runs there in my Napa Toyota. I expect that to be the case again.”

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