In theory, Martin Truex Jr. should be smiling broadly about 2012. For the first time in five years, he was an actual points contender throughout the 26-race regular season, and he easily qualified for the Chase — a feat improbably matched by his Michael Waltrip Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer. Truex grabbed a pole at Texas and nearly tripled the number of laps he led over the year before. Peaking in a contract year, he also announced an extension that keeps him in the seat of the No. 56 Toyota, with NAPA Auto Parts on board through 2015.