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

Martin Truex Jr. is in 34th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings through two races this season.

What does the Stafford Township native plan to do now?

“I told Chad (Johnston, his crew chief) I might try and find a witch doctor or something out in Vegas,” Truex joked in quotes provided this week by his team, Michael Waltrip Racing. “They have everything out there. If I can find a way to put an end to this bad luck, I want to do it.

Truex has run near the front in both races so far, only to have mechanical problems ruin what might have been strong finishes. He hopes to put it behind him this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We have fast cars, so at this point, we need to put these first two races behind us and take the positives and move on,” Truex said. “I have a great NAPA Auto Parts team. We just need to keep doing what we know how to do, and that’s to take fast Toyotas to the tracks, keep them together and deliver the results.”

While Truex was able to joke about his struggles, he knows he needs to turn things around soon if he wants to contend for a spot in the Chase for the second year in a row. It’s early in the season, but he doesn’t want to dig too deep a hole for himself.

“The first two races of the year, we’ve had fast cars,” Truex said. “Daytona we were running top-five and had a valve-spring issue. At Phoenix, we started 14th. We were about to race into the top 10 and had a piece break. It’s something that has never happened to me before, but it happens, so we’re moving forward. I am disappointed, to say the least, with how our season has started. It’s time to make sure we’ve got all our stuff in gear.

“We can’t afford any more problems like this. I know Michael Waltrip Racing is working to get the problems fixed for us. We’ll just go on and try and win Vegas. It’s time for the NAPA team to shake this off and move on. My teammates are running strong — Mark Martin is running well and Clint Bowyer is sitting fourth in points — so MWR as a whole hasn’t missed a beat since our strong performance last year.”