Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kansas STP 400 Preview: Can Truex Jr. Get First Win Since 2007?

Martin Truex Jr's was second at both Kansas races in 2012 
You have to feel for Martin Truex Jr. because he just can’t seem to get a break. He’s got a great Michael Waltrip Racing car that produces top-flight Toyota horse power on the 1.5-mile tracks, but he’s had quite a few bad beats over the last two seasons that have stopped him from winning his first race since Dover in 2007.

Saturday night at Texas was another in a long line of bad beats for Truex Jr. With no more pit stops remaining and only 20 laps to go -- while running away from second-place Kyle Busch, Truex‘s old friend “Debris“ made an appearance on the track again and the caution flag flew. His 1.5 second lead was washed away and he was forced into the pits to get fresh tires like everyone else, but Busch‘s crew got the No. 18 car out first.

Busch, one of the best in the business on restarts, out-drag raced Truex Jr. for the lead and stayed there for the final 15 laps. Truex Jr. was so close, but so far away. Another sure win got away from the No. 56.

It was at Kansas, site of this week’s race, last year when some unexpected gremlins slowed Truex’s car -- while leading -- with 20 laps to go. Denny Hamlin made the pass, and then his car mysteriously came back to life. He almost chased down Hamlin for the win, but would have to settle for another runner-up position, 0.7 seconds behind from victory. He had led 173 of the 267 laps on the day.

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