Truex: “99 percent chance” he’ll complete Cup race at Atlanta

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Martin Truex Jr. indeed has a back-up driver ready to go in case he can’t complete Sunday’s Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but the Chase contender said on Friday that he figures “there’s a 99 percent chance” he’ll run the entire event.

“I think for me the biggest challenge right now is still all the parts that were sprained,” said Truex, who suffered a broken right wrist in a late-race accident last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“My fingers still hurt. My knuckles are still kind of tender, so shifting is a little bit of an issue as far as the pain goes. But as far as driving the car, I was surprised at how good it felt and how normal it felt to be honest.”

Although he’s already qualified for the race in the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford, Scott Speed will take over Truex’s No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing if necessary.

Truex has been cleared to race by NASCAR and is driving with a special cast that’s been designed to help him grip the steering wheel. He said on Friday that his doctor believes he’ll have to wear it for at least six more weeks.

In the meantime, Truex has been busy trying to move the healing process along.

“I think the biggest thing is just rest,” he said. “There is some exercise stuff that I’ve been doing. I got help from our trainers at Michael Waltrip Racing as far as getting the tightness out from the sprained part and that’s definitely helped.

“…It definitely hurts a little bit here and there at different times, but nothing I don’t think I will be able to deal with and it should be good.”

Truex currently has the first of two Wild Card transfer spots into the Chase with two regular season races remaining before the 10-race playoff is set to begin.

Hinch boldly “goes” where many drivers have gone before

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One of the most common questions racing drivers face is “What happens if you have to use the bathroom when you’re driving?”

And the most common answer is “You just go.” While admittedly a little disgusting, it is nonetheless a problem that occasionally surfaces, and an innumerable amount of drivers have done so in their careers.

However, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe apparently had never found himself in such a predicament in his career. That is, until Sunday in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

While under the first red flag for rain, Hinchcliffe started to receive “nature’s call.” Unable to get out of the car to use a restroom – drivers had not been permitted to get out of their cars – Hinchcliffe was forced to wait and hold it.

But when the cars briefly took to the track again prior to a second red flag, it became too much to handle, and Hinch was forced to “relieve himself” while circulating under caution.

“I always maintained that I knew at some point in my career it would happen,” he quipped to NBCSN’s Kevin Lee.”

He added, “I was sitting there under that first red (flag), just begging to get three minutes. That’s all you need, (steering wheel off to wheel on). And when we got going again, my legs were shaking, I had to go so bad. I’m like ‘I can’t drive a race car like this.’ So under caution, it took me a full lap, it was one of the least comfortable experiences of my entire life, but I can officially say I’ve joined the likes of Will Power, Dario Franchitti, and other greats that have peed themselves in their suit.”

Social media reaction added to the moment’s hilarity, with SPM and teammate Robert Wickens weighing in.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal also chimed in, coming to Hinchcliffe’s defense.

Hinchcliffe, fully refreshed, will restart the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in fifth when racing resumes on Monday.

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