Martin Truex Jr. Daytona Recap Video (via Michael Waltrip Racing)
Martin Truex Jr. Daytona Recap
CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 24th in Sunday’s Daytona 500. But the result doesn’t tell the story of how good the Michael Waltrip Racing driver ran in the Great American race.
Truex started 37th and worked his way through the field. By lap 40, the No. 56 Toyota raced within the top 10 and remained there throughout the event. With 50 to go, Truex moved to second ready to challenge for the victory in the final 25 laps. But then disaster struck.
Truex reported a significant loss of power costing him a chance for the victory shortly after the team’s final green-flag pit stop. He remained on track to nurse his new Gen-6 Toyota to the 24th-place finish.
"We had a shot at it,” said Truex upon the conclusion of the season opener. “We were in the hunt and that's all any driver can ask for. We were in position there. I am not sure what else we could have done. Up until then, everything was perfect.
“Toyota has been a great partner to us so I am sure they will look at our car as well as the Gibbs cars who had trouble too and get us all back up and running for next week. It was a lot of fun out there driving this new NAPA Toyota. NASCAR's Gen-6 is raising the bar for us so hopefully Phoenix will be our race. It’s time to go racing!"
Jimmie Johnson edged Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 0.129 seconds for his second Daytona 500 victory. MWR’s Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman rounded out top-five. Six cautions slowed the race for 24 laps. The race featured 28 lead changes among 14 drivers.
The NAPA AUTO PARTS team returns to action Sunday on the fast mile-oval at Phoenix International Raceway.