The Truex brothers of Stafford Township will be back racing against each other on Saturday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Richmond, Va.
Older brother Martin Jr. has been trying to stay in contention for a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, despite battling a broken right wrist suffered during a wreck at Bristol Motor Speedway.
That race was also the last time the brothers faced each other, as Ryan made his Sprint Cup debut.
Martin had a new cast applied to his broken right wrist after the one he had on last week appeared to melt in the late stages of Sunday night’s race at Atlanta in which he finished third.
He heads into Saturday night’s race ranked 13th in the standings with one win on the season, good enough for the second wild card. The top 10 in the standings and the top two victory leaders from spots No. 11 to 20 qualify for the Chase.
Truex is only 15 points out of 10th, but believes his Michael Waltrip Racing team is far better than where they sit in the standings.
“To be honest, with the season we have had with all the ups and downs, I am so excited to still be in this thing,” he said. “We have fought so hard this year and have overcome a lot to be in this position. It will be awesome and a huge deal for us if we can make it in again. This NAPA team is not a 12th- or 13th-place team. In my opinion, we are a top-five team. We want to get in and make up for the mistakes and mishaps we experienced earlier in the year to have a great ending to our season.”
He doesn’t expect any issues with his wrist at Richmond, either.
“The cast did its job at Atlanta. It got a little soft in the palm area during the race but all and all, everything went fine,” he said. “I’ve had it checked over again and had a new cast put on. We’ve made a few adjustments to this new cast and I expect it to be a whole lot better. Everything has gone well so far. I cannot complain. I mean to go to Atlanta and to have a shot at the win at the end, at that point, what pain I felt was gone.”
As for Ryan, the Richard Petty Motorsports development driver will get another shot at a Sprint Cup race when Phoenix Racing puts him in the No. 51 car again.
Truex made his Cup debut at Bristol two weeks ago, but got only 39 laps under his belt before crashing out of the race.
“My first Cup start didn’t go the way I wanted, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to get another chance,” Truex said. “I was really happy with qualifying 18th at Bristol, but we cut a tire and that was disappointing. It’s just nice to get back in the seat and get another chance so quickly.”
It’s been slow going for the Ryan with only one Cup start and one Truck Series start on the year. The 21-year-old has yet to put together the funding for a full season at any NASCAR national level, but does have some experience at Richmond, where he has four previous Nationwide starts. His best finish was fourth in 2011.
He won the K&N Pro Series East championship for MWR in 2009 and 2010.
“Now that I’ve got that first (Cup) start out of the way, and I know what to expect, I can’t wait to get back on the track,” Ryan said. “We’re trying to secure some sponsorship with RPM for next year and a good run helps. I just want to go out, learn as much as possible and complete all the laps.”