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.