Toyota Racing – Martin Truex Jr.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Texas Motor Speedway – November 3, 2017
Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. was made available to the media at Texas Motor Speedway:
MARTIN TRUEX JR, No. 78 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Toyota Camry, Furniture Row Racing
How confident are you here at Texas with the success you’ve had at mile-and-a-half tracks this year?
“Definitely confidence is high. Feel good about it. Mile‑and‑a‑half is ‑‑ obviously they’ve been good for us this year, but honestly, I feel like everywhere we go this year, right now especially, we can run up front and have a shot at winning. Last weekend was a big race for us, and being able to come here with a pretty nice points cushion feels good, and hopefully we’ll be able to go out here and take care of business.”
How do you and the team manage to stay in the moment instead of looking too far ahead to Homestead with all the success you’ve had with bonus points this year?
“Yeah, I think we’ve kind of just learned how to do that the past few years really, especially last year. You always look back at that one as a reminder of at any time it could slip away. Just try not to worry two weeks ahead of time. It doesn’t really matter right now. Of course we are getting our Homestead car ready to go, but aside from that, at the racetrack, worrying about things out of your control, it really doesn’t do you any good. I think right now when we go to the racetrack, we really focus in on what we’ve got to do to run up front on Sunday, what we have to do to qualify good today. That’s kind of our mindset. I feel like we’ve done a good job of that, and again, we came from 2014 being nobodies, and we’ve learned along the way, I think, how to control ourselves and our thought process and how to get the most out of each other and ourselves as a group. It’s definitely taken some practice.”
How do you keep the intensity up? How do you keep this playing level the way you do every week?
“For me personally behind the wheel, I just ‑‑ I think I just do my normal deal. I know playoff races are a big deal and there’s a lot on the line, but if you try to be someone different than you’ve been all year or try to do something different than you normally do, you’ll get yourself in trouble. I feel like throughout the season I feel like I’ve put myself in a spot where I can get everything out of the car, put it right on the limit, but it’s my comfortable limit. Doesn’t mean it’s somebody else’s. I think you just try to stay in your comfort zone, you do the things you know you can handle and are good at, take advantage of your strengths. You know, for us, honestly I haven’t done anything different at all since the playoffs started, and I think that’s the reason why we’ve been successful.”
Can you talk about your perspective and the evolution of your success? How do you kind of put all that in perspective coming into the playoffs as opposed to last season? What differences do you sense?
“Well, I’m not really sure how to answer that. I mean, I had a lot of success throughout my career, had a lot of success with the XFINITY Championships right off the bat, and then in Cup right away, it went fairly well, and then just kind of went through some bad spots with ‑‑ for a lot of different reasons. So I mean, I definitely appreciate the position we’re in a lot more now I think than I would have if I didn’t go through those bad years or have part of my career where I wasn’t sure what I was going to do or if I’d ever get a chance to run up front and have a chance to win races again. I definitely think I have that appreciation for what we’re doing now a little bit more than maybe some other guys would. And I think it helps keep you focused on where you want to get to because you know it’s possible. You know, so I think for us, I don’t know, we don’t really think too much about what we’re doing. We don’t think a lot or talk a whole lot about the success and the wins. We enjoy them when we get them and move on to the next one and try and get some more. There will come a time hopefully someday where we can reflect back on all we’ve done, and hopefully there will be a lot more to celebrate, but for now, just trying to stay focused and enjoy ourselves along the way I think is the most critical thing.”
From Daytona until today, is there any special or important development on the car aero wise or engine wise?
“I think throughout the year, it’s all bits and pieces. You know, trying to constantly make your stuff better. I would say across the board, I think everybody is on that same plane. You’re always trying to find little things here and there. I think our guys have done a good job of continuing to step it up, even when we were perform well and winning races. You know, that’s a huge effort. A lot goes into it, and I feel like our entire group has done a really nice job with it.”