Truex Jr. Advances to Championship Round

Martin Truex Jr. is going to NASCAR’s Big Dance. The Furniture Row Racing driver will be one of the four finalists in the Chase playoffs vying for the Sprint Cup championship next Sunday (Nov. 22) at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Truex earned the prestigious berth with a 14th-place finish in Sunday’s rain-shortened race, which was delayed nearly seven hours at Phoenix International Raceway.

The drivers advancing to the championship round along with Truex will be Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. The highest finishing driver among the four finalists in the season finale in south Florida will be crowned the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion.

It was a nerve-racking ending for Truex, who was running in the top 10 when he came down pit road for a four-tire green-flag stop on Lap 193. Just as he was leaving his pit box, the yellow flag waved causing Truex to lose a number of spots in track position. When the dust settled Truex found himself in 14th place but still ahead of Carl Edwards in Chase points — his nearest competition for the final transfer spot.

The race never restarted due to another heavy downpour at the 1-mile oval, forcing NASCAR to call the race on Lap 219 after the cars ran a number of caution laps. Truex’s margin over Edwards was five points.

“What can I say about the whole team and everybody at Furniture Row Racing and everybody back at the shop in Denver?” said Truex, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet. “It’s just a dream come true for us. I’m just really proud of what we’ve accomplished this year. Cole Pearn (crew chief) and everybody there just really proud of them, and really excited to have this.”

He added, “I got a little nervous there when the caution came out on us tonight, but all in all we did what we had to do and Homestead is a really good race track for me and that’s our kind of race track for this team. So, I’m excited about next week and the opportunity to do something special. This is the kind of thing that you dream about since you were a little kid. Having a shot to win a Sprint Cup Series championship is just awesome and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.

The race winner was Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola.