Toyota Racing – Martin Truex Jr.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Talladega Superspeedway – April 26, 2019
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. was made available to the media in Talladega:
MARTIN TRUEX JR, No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Why do you think we’ve seen less accidents under the new 550 horsepower package on intermediate tracks?
“I don’t know. I definitely expected more of it. I would say I expected probably the packs to be a little bit tighter. I still think there are some race tracks where we might see, tighter groups of cars just depending on grip level and night races, things like that. But I think generally, it’s just, handling has been a bigger factor than I expected it to be. And so that’s, the field kind of gets separated and I think as part of it.”
How has the teamwork element of drafting changed from Daytona in 2016 when the Toyotas worked together and somewhat changed the game?
“It definitely could change this weekend. You know, I think there’s already a lot of talk about tandem possibly being able to happen and if it does and it fits the way to go, then you know, teamwork for certainly this kind of goes through a whole other level where you have to kind of commit to just one guy. As far as Toyota kind of starting the teamwork deal back at Daytona a couple of years ago, I think how it’s changed is that everybody’s caught onto it manufacturer wise. And for us at Toyota there’s a lot less Toyotas than anything else. So it’s changed a lot for us. I would say more than anyone. Strength in numbers I think has been, you know, kind of against us. But in general the manufacturers really worked hard at getting their teams all together and, and try and do the best job they can and get their manufacturer victory lane.”
Do you have any advice for Joey Logano’s visit to the White House next week?
“No, no advice. Really just I’m kind of jealous. It was an amazing experience and they treated us so well. It made you really feel special honestly. And it was really cool just to be a part of it all. And for Barney (Visser) and everybody on the team and for Johnny Morris (Bass Pro Shops) to be there — it was a really special day for all of us. So it’s a heck of an honor and definitely jealous. Hopefully he enjoys it. I’m sure he will.”
Did you race Joey Logano differently in Richmond due to the Martinsville incident last year?
“I kind of know what to expect and you know — that’s kind of that. So no grudge really just, you know, maybe you think about things a little bit differently when we get around each other.”
What do you expect at Dover next weekend with this new package?
“Next week is going to be a tough race I think. The speeds are going to be really high. I’m sure it will be the fastest we’ve ever been around Dover and you know, 400 laps there is tough no matter what. I think it’s going to be pretty crazy. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do some passing and you know, hopefully the dirty air deals not terrible, but it’s definitely going to be tough. I think track position will be important, but the speeds it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be demanding. You know Bristol was pretty crazy. I thought it was just how hard you had to drive the car each and every lap and as fast as Dover is, I think feel wise it’s probably the fastest place we go. So it’s going to be an eye opener I think for some guys.”
Do you anticipate working with the Chevrolet drivers in the draft like you did in Daytona?
“I think we’ll kind of learn more as we go here. I don’t think anybody has any real plans as of yet just because we don’t know what to expect with a new package, possible tandem racing — there’s just too many questions right now. Those were things that I have for practice. Everybody gets together and tries to figure out how they can strategize to give themselves the best shot at winning. And you know, I don’t know of any plans right now of anyone working together. I just know that we’re going to go out there, we’ve got some, some plans to do some different things in practice. Try to figure it out and then we’ll go from there.”
Do you think practice will give everyone a good idea of what to expect in Sunday’s race?
“I think we’ll get a good idea, but race conditions are always different. The race, the win is on the line — a lot changes, you know the energy gets going and guys are willing to take a lot more risk. I think you’ll get a good idea of it today. But you know, Sunday has opportunities to be a little bit different.”
How important was it to get the victory in Richmond?
“It definitely felt good. It was nice to go into an off weekend with a win under your belt and I’d be a winner for two weeks instead of one. But you know, I think just getting that first one in the season out of the way. It always seems to be the toughest one and especially this year being on the new team and all that comes with it. It was definitely a big boost for our team and for all of us. So good confidence builder and definitely a good time to win and hopeful that we can continue to put ourselves in position.”