Martin Truex Jr.

Denny Hamlin Wins STP 400 in Kansas

Hamlin holds off Martin Truex Jr. to notch second Sprint Cup victory of 2012
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<p> Denny Hamlin passed Martin Truex Jr. with 30 laps remaining to win the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway.</p>
2012

It seemed a formality that once Martin Truex Jr. had fended off a vicious challenge from Jimmie Johnson that Michael Waltrip Racing would score its first Sprint Cup Series win since 2010.

Michael Waltrip Racing Hitting NASCAR Stride

MWR's Three-Car Team Leading the Toyota Charge in 2012
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<p> Michael Waltrip Racing's three-car team is putting up impressive numbers early in the 2012 NASCAR season.</p>
2012

In its sixth full season of Sprint Cup competition, Michael Waltrip Racing is making a push at becoming a powerhouse on NASCAR’s premier circuit.

MWR’s three-team operation has combined for five top 5s and 12 top 10s thus far in 2012. Spearheaded by Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 56 NAPA team, MWR finds its two full-time drivers — Truex and Clint Bowyer — in the top 10 in the point standings.

Mark Martin is Back, Advice for Danica and Purse Payouts

The Long and Short of It
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<p> Following Greg Biffle's win at Texas Motor Speedway, Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.</p>
2012

This is what retirement is supposed to be like.

“This is so much fun,’’ Mark Martin said after his third-place finish last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

Well, the 53-year-old Martin never said he was retiring, just that he wouldn’t race a full schedule years ago when he first cut back.

Greg Biffle Wins in Texas

Biffle finds Victory Lane in the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway
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<p> Greg Biffle broke a 49-race winless skid with a victory in the Samsung Mobile 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.</p>
2012

by Matt Taliaferro

The NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings have always been more consistency-based than win-centric. This season alone, two-time race winner Tony Stewart found himself third in the standings behind winless drivers Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Biffle and Earnhardt — both saddled with winless skids of 49 or more races — had employed the tried and true “top-10 ’em to death” method in 2012, each with four in six races.

It's a Long Way to the Top for Michael Waltrip Racing

MWR experiencing banner year in 2012 with revamped driver lineup
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<p>  </p> <p class="p1"> Michael Waltrip Racing’s renaissance of 2012 has been one of the biggest stories of this NASCAR season. Just how far has this team come from the depths of despair? Vito Pugliese takes a look.</p>
2012

by Vito Pugliese

“I’m sorry guys, I just … can’t drive my racecar …”

The New King of the Mountains

Brad Keselowski outlasts Matt Kenseth for second straight Bristol win

by Matt Taliaferro

There’s something about the half-mile Bristol bullring in East Tennessee that lends itself to certain drivers.

NASCAR Hall of Famers Cale Yarborough (nine wins), Darrell Waltrip (12) and Dale Earnhardt (nine) each went on dominant runs at Bristol in the 1970s and ’80s. Rusty Wallace won nine of his own from 1986-2000. Jeff Gordon won five events from 1995-2002, while the Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle, also have five wins each.

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<p> Brad Keselowski wins the Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway.</p>
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2012
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Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Bristol

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's race in Bristol

by Jay Pennell

It's Bristol, baby!

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the hills of East Tennessee for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR’s modern day Colosseum has been home to some of the most dramatic moments in the sport’s history, and always produces great racing.

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<p> Fantasy NASCAR predictions for the Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway.</p>

This week’s darkhorse pick goes to Martin Truex Jr. out of the Michael Waltrip Racing stable.

The driver of the No. 56 NAPA Toyota is in a “put up or shut up” season, with contract negotiations on the books for later in the year. To say the New Jersey native has underperformed over the past few seasons is a bit of an understatement. Many expected big things from the two-time Nationwide Series champion, but with only one Sprint Cup Series victory in 228 starts, time is running out.

Yet, Truex entered the season optimistic about the newly remodeled and upgraded MWR. The addition of teammates Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin and competition director Scott Miller has Truex pleased with fast race cars and the opportunity to run up front.

And run up front is exactly what Truex did in this race last season. Leading a total of 63 laps, it looked as if the No. 56 was set for a solid day until the handling went away and Truex faded late in the race. Learning from their mistakes, the team showed up prepared to finish the job in August, scoring a second-place finish behind race winner Brad Keselowski.

With Truex looking to quell the contract talk and get back to Victory Lane, Bristol might just be the place to make a statement. If he and crew chief Chad Johnston can avoid trouble and keep up with the changing racetrack throughout, I expect a solid day out of him.

Three Darkhorse Picks: Martin Truex Jr., Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray

Best of luck to all the fantasy NASCAR participants out there, and most importantly, don't forget to set your lineups!

Average Bristol Finish, Last Six Races (Wins)
1. Kyle Busch — 4.5 (4)
2. Ryan Newman — 8.8 (0)
3. Jimmie Johnson — 9.0 (1)
4. Kurt Busch — 9.0 (0)
5. Carl Edwards — 10.0 (0)
6. Matt Kenseth — 11.3 (0)
7. Jeff Gordon — 11.5 (0)
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. — 11.7 (0)
9. Brad Keselowski — 12.8 (1)*
10. Jamie McMurray — 14.2 (0)
* Four starts

Follow Jay on Twitter: @JayWPennell
 

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Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends for Phoenix

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's race in Phoenix.

by Jay Pennell

Few could have predicted the 2012 season would open with such historic and unforeseen events taking place at Daytona. Rain delays, prime-time racing on a Monday, jet dryer explosions … I‘m surprised the Mayan calendar didn’t signal the end of civilization when the checkered flag fell.

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<p> Fantasy NASCAR predictions for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.</p>
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An Exclusive Q&A with Martin Truex Jr.

Athlon Sports sits down with DEI’s new No. 1 driver
<p> Just 16 years removed from his first go-kart, Martin Truex Jr. has come a long way in the fashion most racers prefer: Fast.</p>
2008

In celebration of Athlon Sports' upcoming 10th annual Racing magazine, we've dug into the archives to uncover some of the most memorable features, profiles and Q&As that have graced our pages. Visit the site daily for more retrospective looks at NASCAR throughout the decade.

Article originally published in 2008 Athlon Sports Racing annual

Just 16 years removed from his first go-kart, Martin Truex Jr. has come a long way in the fashion most racers prefer: Fast.

2006 NASCAR Rookie Class

This year's class of rookies may be the deepest in NASCAR history
<p> This year's class of rookies may be the deepest in NASCAR history</p>
2006

In celebration of Athlon Sports' upcoming 10th annual Racing magazine, we've dug into the archives to uncover some of the most memorable features, profiles and Q&As that have graced our pages. Visit the site daily for more retrospective looks at NASCAR throughout the decade.

Article originally published in 2006 Athlon Sports Racing annual

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