Truex Jr., NAPA extend contracts with Michael Waltrip Racing

Michael Waltrip Racing revealed on Friday that driver Martin Truex Jr. and primary sponsor NAPA have agreed to a three-year contract extension with the team in the Sprint Cup Series.

MWR made the announcement at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the site of this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races.

Truex has driven for MWR, with NAPA sponsoring his efforts, since the start of the 2010 Sprint Cup season. Right now, Truex is fifth in the point standings and has scored five top-five finishes, 13 top-10s and one pole in 24 races. He and teammate, Clint Bowyer, are on the verge of putting MWR in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship for the first time in the racing organization's history. Bowyer is sixth in the standings. Just two races remain before the Chase begins -- Atlanta and Richmond.

"Re-signing Martin was huge for us," team co-owner Michael Waltrip said. "We've given him competitive race cars and engines this year, and he's been able to showcase his talent. Where I am most proud of Martin is off the track. He has dedicated himself to be a leader in our organization and has accepted his role as an ambassador for our sponsors. His work with NAPA, Toyota, AAA, along with his foundation work, has shown his maturity as a person, and he makes me proud."

NAPA will continue to sponsor Truex's team in all 36 Sprint Cup point races as well as the two non-point events each season.

Truex claimed his first career win in NASCAR's premier series in June 2007 but has yet to return to victory lane in the last 191 races.

"We've been capable of winning races all year long, but we just haven't finished the deal," Truex said. "We've run second a bunch of times, and we've had the car to beat two or three races, and we didn't do everything right. It takes a lot of things to go your way to win a race.

"On the days where we've had the fastest car out there, we didn't have the cautions go our way or maybe pit strategy or the way the cycles went, but we've had the speed, and we've got the team that's capable of doing it for sure. For now, it's just a matter of getting that first one out of the way and quit worrying about it and go after a bunch of them."

Truex made his first appearance in the Chase in '07 when he drove for Dale Earnhardt Inc.