Strong finish Sunday could put Truex Jr. closer to clinching Chase spot - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Jason Mazda's Blog

Strong finish Sunday could put Truex Jr. closer to clinching Chase spot - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Jason Mazda's Blog

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Strong finish Sunday could put Truex Jr. closer to clinching Chase spot

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Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012 9:00 am

Martin Truex Jr. is getting closer to clinching a spot in NASCAR's Chase for the Championship.

The Stafford Township native is in sixth place in the standings and has a 75-point lead over 11th-place Kasey Kahne with four races to go before the Chase field is set. The top 10 drivers plus two wild cards based on wins make the field.

A strong weekend at Michigan International Speedway would put Truex even closer to making the Chase for the second time in his career and first since 2007.

"I like our chances this weekend at Michigan," Truex said in quotes provided this week by his team, Michael Waltrip Racing. "We learned a lot at the test on July 30. All three of our MWR Toyotas were fast, and that was really encouraging to us."

Truex finished 12th in the June race at Michigan. In previous years, that would have been a solid showing for Truex. But in this, the best season of his career so far, he wants more.

"I don't anticipate big changes from last time we raced, so hopefully it will all translate into a better finish for us," he said. "We had a top-10 Toyota last time, but I feel like we can be a top-five car with what we learned at the test, the package (Toyota Racing Development) is bringing for us, and even some things we learned at Pocono late in the race."

Truex finished third at Pocono Raceway two weeks ago, part of a string of three straight top-10 finishes that he hopes to extend to four this weekend. Before the current streak, he had a 10-race stretch during which he finished 20th or worse four times and in the top 10 just three. But he started the season with six top-eight finishes in the first eight races.

"I feel like we are getting back to where we were at the start of the season in terms of consistency and overall performance,” Truex said.

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David Weinberg
Mike McGarry
James Clark
  • James Clark
  • Assistant Soccer Coach at St. Augustine Prep
  • James Clark has been writing about soccer for various media outlets, including The Press of Atlantic City, for 15 years. The Northfield resident coached travel teams in the South Jersey Soccer League for a decade and is currently an assistant soccer coach at St. Augustine Prep. Clark's blog will appear three times a week and daily during this summer's World Cup.
David Weinberg