A solid day, adding laps for record

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 30, 2016) – Martin Truex Jr. was consistently solid Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway’s short track, finishing seventh in the Sprint Cup Series race, his 16th top-10 result of the season.

Driving the No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, Truex started on the pole and never ran out of the top seven. He led six times for 147 laps, the second most in the 500-lap race. Truex’s Toyota teammate Matt Kenseth was the lap leader at 176.

Speaking of laps led, Truex remains the season leader in that category at 1,743. That is more than three times as many laps led as his previous season high of 581 in 2007.

Truex, who acknowledges that he has had a “likeness reversal” of Martinsville’s .526-mile tricky oval, feels the Furniture Row Racing team made some big gains over the weekend at NASCAR’s oldest active track.

“Martinsville used to be a big puzzle for me,” said Truex, who claimed his fifth season pole on Friday. “Today was a good step forward for us at Martinsville. We probably had the best car we ever had here. We started up front (on the pole) and led a bunch of laps early. We were up there all day, but have to figure out how to be better the second half of the race at Martinsville.

“Once we can do that we’ll have a shot at winning one of those grandfather clocks (winning trophy). I really want one of those. The second half of the race was typical Martinsville — tight in the center and too loose on exit. We fought that for almost the entire second half of the race.”

The race winner was Jimmie Johnson, who automatically advances to the final four at the season-ending race in Homestead, Fla. (DMF/FRR/pr)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Number 33

Unofficial Race Results for the 68Th Annual Goody’s Fast Relief 500 –
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Martinsville Speedway – Martinsville, VA – .526 Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 500 Laps – 263 Miles

1 – 48 Jimmie Johnson
2 – 2 Brad Keselowski
3 – 11 Denny Hamlin
4 – 20 Matt Kenseth
5 – 18 Kyle Busch
6 – 88 Jeff Gordon
7 – 78 Martin Truex Jr
8 – 1 Jamie McMurray
9 – 22 Joey Logano
10 – 47 AJ Allmendinger
11 – 5 Kasey Kahne
12 – 24 Chase Elliott
13 – 16 Greg Biffle
14 – 42 Kyle Larson
15 – 43 Aric Almirola
16 – 31 Ryan Newman
17 – 3 Austin Dillon
18 – 95 Michael McDowell
19 – 21 Ryan Blaney
20 – 4 Kevin Harvick
21 – 13 Casey Mears
22 – 41 Kurt Busch
23 – 6 Trevor Bayne
24 – 10 Danica Patrick
25 – 27 Paul Menard
26 – 14 Tony Stewart
27 – 34 Chris Buescher
28 – 15 Clint Bowyer
29 – 38 Landon Cassill
30 – 7 Regan Smith
31 – 83 Dylan Lupton
32 – 93 Matt DiBenedetto
33 – 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt
34 – 44 Brian Scott
35 – 46 Michael Annett
36 – 19 Carl Edwards
37 – 23 David Ragan
38 – 55 Reed Sorenson
39 – 30 Gray Gaulding
40 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr