Martin Truex Jr. makes statement

JOLIET, IL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Martin Truex Jr, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 19, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

JOLIET, IL – SEPTEMBER 19: Martin Truex Jr, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 19, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

JOLIET, Ill. – Martin Truex Jr. may have but one victory to his credit entering the Chase this year, but he certainly announced his presence as a contender at Chicagoland Speedway, the venue for Sunday’s MyAFibRisk.com 400.

In Saturday’s first practice session, Truex topped the speed chart at 183.312 mph, nearly a full mile-an-hour faster than second-place Denny Hamlin at 182.389 mph. In cooler temperatures in the afternoon, Truex ran 184.849 mph and was the only driver to top the 184-mph mark.

Truex, who will start from the fourth position on Sunday, has no top fives in nine starts at the 1.5-mile track, but from all indications so far, that’s likely to change in the first Chase race.

“We’ve got a great race team here, we’ve got great race cars, and we’ve got a lot of confidence,” said the driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet.

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