Truex looks to pick up win at Texas

Mar­tin Truex Jr. will try to get his first win at Texas Mo­tor Speed­way on Sun­day.

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS - BY STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer

FORT WORTH, TEXAS

— Mar­tin Truex Jr. has promised that Joey Logano won't win the NASCAR Cup ti­tle.

That is a score that can't be set­tled at Texas.

For now, de­fend­ing Cup cham­pion Truex is try­ing to stay fo­cused on win­ning at Texas, or next week in Phoenix, or at least get­ting enough points to make sure that he is one of the four driv­ers rac­ing for the ti­tle in two weeks.

"That's the plan any­ways," Truex said. "I do pretty good about keep­ing my head straight. I've said my peace, told him what I thought and I'm here at Texas try­ing to win."

Logano is the only driver locked into the fi­nal four spots, clinch­ing that af­ter his bump-an­drun on the fi­nal lap to beat Truex last week at Martinsville.

In the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of that race, Truex pro­claimed, Logano won the bat­tle but isn't go­ing to win the war. A text to Logano fol­lowed that night.

Truex qual­i­fied 13th for Sun­day's race, with Chase El­liott the only of the eight cham­pi­onship con­tenders be­hind him in 16th.

"We have two im­por­tant races here where I am in a po­si­tion to run for a cham­pi­onship," Truex said. "I am not go­ing to let what hap­pened last week take my fo­cus off of that."

The four Stew­art-Haas driv­ers were the top four qual­i­fiers among the eight con­tenders, with Clint Bowyer on the front row af­ter qual­i­fy­ing sec­ond, with team­mates Kevin Har­vick and Aric Almirola in the sec­ond row and Kurt Busch start­ing sev­enth. Logano qual­i­fied eighth, and Kyle Busch 10th.

When asked at Texas if ev­ery­thing was cool with Truex, or if his head would be on a swivel look­ing around, Logano said only time would tell.

"I think he was a lit­tle frus­trated and that is part of it. I also think it is short track rac­ing," Logano said. "All of that was on the line at that point and I think we both un­der­stand that there was so much on the line and that is what hap­pens some­times."

The play­off chase has gone from the half-mile pa­per­clip-shaped track at Martinsville to the high­speed 1 ½-mile Texas lay­out where pole­sit­ter Ryan Blaney qual­i­fied at more than 200 mph, along with Bowyer.

Af­ter Logano knocked him out of his first vic­tory at a short track, Truex will try to get his first win at Texas, where he has 14 top-10 fin­ishes and has led 595 laps — but never the last one.

[AP PHOTO]

Mar­tin Truex Jr. on Sun­day will try to get his first win at Texas Mo­tor Speed­way in Fort Worth, Texas, where he has 14 top-10 fin­ishes.

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