No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. chose “NAPA blue” for the color of the cast he’ll wear indefinitely on his right wrist. An MRI revealed a scaphoid fracture and sprain sustained in Saturday’s crash at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Truex and his crew chief Chad Johnston will make adjustments to his fire suit and gear shift lever to accommodate the cast, but there’s no adjusting the team’s year-long goal of earning a second-consecutive berth in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.
With only Sunday’s Atlanta race and next week’s race at Richmond left in the regular season, Truex is 14th in the standings but holds the first wild card position. He’d like to claw his way into the top 10 and receive the bonus points for his June 23 win at Sonoma Raceway once the Chase begins. Atlanta is a good track for Truex to do that. He led 39 laps at last year’s race before a debris caution with less than five laps to go wiped out a four-second lead. Truex fell to fourth during the green-white-checkered finish.
TRUEX ON WRIST: “It’s unfortunate that it happened at this point in the season given our position in the standings. Our goals don’t change. We are going to Atlanta to win. It will be a challenge but I think we’re up to it. I know I am.”
TRUEX ON ATLANTA: “I love Atlanta. It is one of my top-five favorite tracks. I always look forward to going there. We should have won it last year and obviously we didn’t. I had a great run at Texas earlier this year. Atlanta is fun because you can run all over that place and the track changes throughout the night. You start the race running one groove and the next run you’re running a different groove and then at the end of the race, you’re running something totally different than you’ve ever run there before. Last year at the end of the race when I was leading, I was running a groove that I never thought I could run there. I was doing something totally different than I had ever done and it was working. We learned some things at the Goodyear tire test that I think are going to work so we can go get what we should have gotten last year.”