NASCAR Kansas 2013: Martin Truex overcomes early penalty to finish fourth

Jerry Markland

Martin Truex Jr. was happy to leave Kansas Speedway with a fourth-place finish.

Last week, Martin Truex Jr. was dejected after finishing runner-up to Kyle Busch. But in Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, Truex was in high spirits after finishing fourth.

So what gives and why the drastic change in emotions despite the lesser result?

A week ago at Texas, the No. 56 car was dominant and Truex was well on his way to winning his first Sprint Cup Series race since 2007. But a late caution and subsequent slow pit stop foiled his bid to snap what was a 210-race winless streak.

This week, the Michael Waltrip Racing driver had to overcome a penalty for a pit road violation en route to a fourth-place finish. And with passing a chore on a single-groove track in windy conditions, Truex was understandably ecstatic about how the afternoon unfolded.

"Got a lot of questions this week about being second and how I seemed so disappointed and all that," he said. "Of course I was -- circumstances. Today is the complete opposite.

"Very happy and excited about a fourth-place finish. It just depends on circumstances."

The back-to-back top fives have turned around what was a slow start to 2013.

Heading into Texas, Truex was ranked 25th in points. Now, though, he's jumped up to 14th and getting back into the top ten to qualify for the Chase is no longer as insurmountable as it once seemed.

"It was a great day," Truex said. "We overcame a lot and the guys did a great job bouncing back after that pit road problem we had and we had a great race car."

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