Martinsville still hurts, but Truex is maintaining focus at Texas

Still smarting from the last-lap bump-and-run at Martinsville that cost him a win, Martin Truex Jr. is trying to keep his focus elsewhere as he approaches the second race in the Round of 8 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

After clearing Joey Logano off Turn 2 on the final circuit, Truex fell victim to the bumper of the No. 22 Ford in the final turn. Logano took the checkered flag and the automatic berth in the Nov. 18 Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Clearly, the contact rubbed Truex the wrong way. The reigning series champion vowed after the race that Logano would not win the title this year.

After cooling down for a while, Truex sent Logano a text to let him know what he thought of Logano’s move. Logano responded, but from the sound of it, the animosity wasn’t completely defused.

“When things calm down, you think about it a little bit,” Truex said. “I didn’t expect to hear from him, so I wanted to tell him how I felt…

“I wanted to get his point of view and what he was thinking. What he thought about it. Now I know.”

But Truex doesn’t want to think about the incident as he prepares to race in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas motor Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

“We’ve got three races to go,” Truex said after opening practice on Friday. “We have two important races here where I’m in a position to run for a championship. I’m not going to let what happened last week take my focus off of that.

“I think it’s something that stays on the top of your mind. If you get in a certain situation where it would be wise to remember what happened, that’s there. I really haven’t thought past that. I know what’s on the line this weekend.

“It takes a lot of focus and mental strength to do this job. And to do it at a high level. I’m going to approach this weekend like I do any other.”