Martin Truex Jr.'s strategy remains to race hard and try to win

credit: Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs

by Lisa Janine Cloud

Martin Truex Jr. looked relaxed as he met with the media at Texas Motor Speedway Friday, but don’t mistake his easy demeanor for complacency. He’s got his eye on becoming the first repeat champion this century not named Stewart or Johnson.

It’s a far cry from the position he was in just four short years ago coming into this race, with only three career NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series wins over ten seasons. He’s undoubtedly gained the respect he sought by adding 23 wins and a Cup championship since 2015.

Last week, Truex finally made it to Victory Lane at Martinsville to collect his first grandfather clock in 28 tries. He’s made 28 attempts for the six-shooters and cowboy hat at the Great American Speedway and is hoping that that 29 is the charm.

“We’ve been close a few times in all situations, so it has not been really one thing. It’s just sometimes – like I talked about in Martinsville last week – it has just hasn’t been our time yet,” Truex said. “We kind of struggled a little bit here in the spring race, and so looking forward to see what we can do here this weekend with all we’ve learned this year and the things we’ve worked on and the momentum we have and the confidence we have. So hopefully, we can put it to good use this weekend, and do everything right, and get our first win here.”

Regardless of his finish on Sunday, he and the No. 19 team are locked into the Final Four and will compete for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. However, Truex is looking through the windshield, not the rearview mirror when it comes to the opportunity he has to become a repeat champion. Redemption isn’t on his mind.

“I think last year was last year.” Truex said. “You can’t turn back time, you can’t go back and change things and do things different. I think we did a great job in that race last year. We had a great car. It just didn’t play out the way we needed it to. Sometimes those things happen in racing. There’s a lot of things that need to go your way to win these things. It’s really difficult.

“I think our strategy will be similar. We will go there and try to do the best job that we can do. But just to be able to go back there again, and have that opportunity is huge. It means everything to us. At the start of the year, that is your goal – how do we get to Miami? How do we make the Final Four and get another shot at the championship? I would say it’s completely unrelated to last year. We are just ready to go again and try for another one.”

Between now and then, Truex’s strategy is simple: don’t make anyone mad. “I prefer not to p*** anyone off,” he explained. “Honestly, we are going to race hard and try to win, but we don’t need any enemies. So, we will just do our normal deal to be honest with you. I don’t think we do anything different than a normal weekend. I don’t think we do anything different than we did in Martinsville last weekend. We always do the best we can for everyone on our team and all of our sponsors and again ourselves. We want to win. We have a lot of confidence, and we have great equipment and a great team. Why not take advantage of it?”

Martin Truex Jr.'s strategy remains to race hard and try to win Martin Truex Jr.'s strategy remains to race hard and try to win Reviewed by Janine Cloud on Saturday, November 02, 2019 Rating: 5