Martin Truex Jr. Needs a Win and Kansas Owes Him One

By Brian Berg Jr.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Last week at NASCAR was at Texas Motor Speedway and Kyle Busch used his super pit location to get ahead of Martin Truex Jr. to win.  This week NASCAR goes to the Kansas Speedway for the STP 400.

The Kansas Speedway is another one of those NASCAR 1.5 mile staples but after last year’s repave it isn’t much like the other tracks other than that.  There is four degrees less banking than Texas Motor Speedway where they were last week.  It also has variable banking of between 17 and 20 degrees in the turns.  There is five degrees of banking on the straight aways. The race is 400.5 miles or 267 laps.

It is expected that in spite of the track pavement sitting through one winter it will still be as fast as last fall.  Part of the reason is that the new generation six cars were designed for more down force.  It is expected that the tires will have even more than last fall.  A new track record is possible.  Carl Edwards who tested the new car there said, “It was only our team so we really don’t know how we stack up, but its lightning fast.

The driver ratings for this week’s race at Kansas look somewhat like the ones for Texas did.  Following the driver ratings it looks like it will again be a Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson show.

Well last week both drivers ran well but finished fourth and sixth. Martin Truex Jr. had a driver rating of 86.1 13th best but came in second and led all the laps that Kyle didn’t. “We got beat out of the pits there and we were leading the race.” Truex said, “We had a five, six-second lead, everybody pitted, we came in first and went out second, and that was the race, just like it was tonight.  So frustrating.

This week Martin has a driver rating of 90.5 eighth best.  It is not the driver rating but how Martin Truex Jr. has finished.  He had second place finishes at both Kansas Speedway races last year.  One could say Kansas owes him one.

I think it will be good.  We had a good run in Vegas, and ran well at Texas.” Truex said, “It seems like our mile-and-a-half, big track program is pretty good and kind of like Kansas, so look forward to going there.  I think, obviously, it’s going to be a lot different from last year, but it’s the same race track.  So, it’s the same kind of thing and I think it will work.

After the race Martin Truex Jr. diagnosed the problem and knows how to fix it.

He said “It is so hard to make your car good enough to beat Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch and all these guys — and we had that tonight.  We’ve got to get better at taking advantage of that.  That’s where we’re missing and that’s what we need to work on.  So that’s why I’m upset.  Second is a great accomplishment, but it’s not what we’re here for.

Watch for Martin Truex Jr. and his team to fight hard for redemption and get break his second place finish streak with a win.

If you cannot get to Kansas Speedway the race will be televised on FOX on Sunday, April 21st at 12:30 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary. On Facebook at NASCAR News and Commentary. On Pinterest at NASCARnews. Also add to your network on Google.

Top 12 Driver Rating at Kansas
Jimmie Johnson     119.5
Greg Biffle        113.0
Matt Kenseth    106.4
Jeff Gordon        101.5
Tony Stewart     100.8
Carl Edwards      95.1
Mark Martin       91.3
Kevin Harvick     90.6
Martin Truex Jr.    90.5
Brad Keselowski     90.1
Kasey Kahne      89.8
Denny Hamlin    89.8
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (10 total) among active drivers at Kansas Speedway


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