Tweets from Truex: Unaware of situation, thankful for support

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NASCAR’s 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup field was available this morning at Chicago’s Navy Pier for a media advance. One of two notable absences was Martin Truex Jr., who had made the Chase initially Saturday night at Richmond but was kicked out as a result of penalties assessed to the Michael Waltrip Racing team.

While Waltrip and Truex’s teammate Clint Bowyer have made the media rounds in national television interviews (a recap of Bowyer’s, here), Truex had been silent regarding what happened until writing on Twitter last night.

A series of posts from his official feed (@MartinTruexJr56) reads as follows:

I just want to take a min to thank my fans, NAPA AUTO PARTS, Toyota, NASCAR, my fellow competitors, & MWR for their support. I was (con’t) Very excited for my team when I learned that we clinched a wild card spot Sat night in Richmond. I drove the hardest race of my life that… Night & was unaware of any other circumstances other than needing to finish as high as I could to have a chance. This has been a very.., Difficult situation for everyone involved. I hope we can all move on. Im looking forward to Chicago, seeing all my fans & getting back in… My #56 NAPA Toyota. Thank you for all the messages. They are much appreciated.

Younger brother Ryan Truex, who also competed Saturday night in the final race for Phoenix Racing under James Finch’s ownership, had this thought, also written on Twitter (@Ryan_Truex): “My tongue hurts from biting it so hard the past few days..”

Truex’s sponsor, NAPA, along with 5-Hour Energy, issued statements earlier this week expressing their concern regarding the team’s actions on Saturday night.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”