HAMPTON, Ga.–For a driver fighting for a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Martin Truex Jr.’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time.
The good news is that Truex felt relatively comfortable during Friday’s opening practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway, despite the broken right wrist he suffered in a late-race accident Aug. 24 at Bristol.
“It was obviously unfortunate for something like that happen at this time of year, with the position we’re in and where we are in points and trying to make the Chase and the wild card situation and all that,” said Truex, who is 14th in the Cup standings and leading provisionally in the race for the two wild card berths in the Chase.
“But I feel good that we’re able to come here and race and do the best job we can do. I think that this doesn’t change anything for us. We’re going to race these next two races (Richmond and Atlanta) as hard as we can and try to get ourselves in the Chase.
Truex has Scott Speed standing by as a possible relief driver but doesn’t expect to require his services.
“So far (Friday), I feel pretty good in the car,” said Truex, whose cast was molded to his grip on the steering wheel. “I was a little nervous coming here, not really sure what it was going to be like. I’ve never drove hurt before. I’ve never been hurt in a race car before, but the first lap out on the track I felt really good, and everything’s going well. So far, so good.”
Truex qualified 7th Friday night.