Red-Hot Martin Truex Jr. Looking to Carry Momentum into First Data 500
Martin Truex Jr. is no stranger to success in 2017.
The Furniture Row Racing driver has posted six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories this season, with a pair so far in the NASCAR Playoffs.
In each three-race round of the playoffs so far, the Round of 16 and the Round of 12, Truex Jr. has secured a win in the opening race. On October 29, as the Round of 8 opens at Martinsville Speedway with the First Data 500, Truex Jr. will be looking to keep that trend going.
A win at Martinsville would lock Truex Jr. into the Playoff finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a chance at his first title in NASCAR’s premier series.
“I think everybody’s perfect scenario would be to win that race,” Truex Jr. said. “When everybody is going for the same thing it makes it awfully tough.”
A win at Martinsville has eluded Truex Jr. so far in his career, but he said that taking home a grandfather clock trophy would be especially meaningful considering his family’s history racing modifieds at the track.
“I can remember hearing stories as a kid about my dad and uncle coming to Martinsville every year to race their modified,” Truex Jr. recalled. “That was a huge deal to them. That was like going to the Daytona 500 every year for them. The track and the history of it has great meaning to me because of my family racing on it, how long it has been around, and what it means to the sport.”
Truex Jr. said that the team is beginning to understand what it takes to run well at Martinsville, something he said he hopes to continue to improve on later this month.
“It’s a tricky little track,” Truex Jr. said. “It looks so easy, but it’s not. “We’re still figuring it out. We’re getting closer. We won a stage there this year, which was a big deal for us. We’re qualifying well and leading laps. It’s definitely getting better. Qualifying and practice always seem to go well, but we struggle in the race.”
Much has been made of Truex Jr.’s relationship with crew chief Cole Pearn as the No. 78 has found its way into Victory Lane with more regularity this season. That relationship is critical to the success of the team, Truex Jr. noted.
“It’s huge to have the communication and trust in each other,” Truex Jr. said. “That communication can make the difference in running good or running bad. He’s been so good for my career. Hopefully we can keep that going. Everyone wants to win on short tracks because that’s what we grew up doing. For a lot of reasons, it would be special.”
The First Data 500 is the first race in the Round of 8 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. If the winning driver is in the Playoffs, he would be the first to clinch a spot in the Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last fall, Jimmie Johnson won his ninth grandfather clock, on the way to winning his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Tickets for the First Data 500 are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
A special offer is available now for seats in the Blue Ridge Tower. Until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, fans can purchase a ticket in the Blue Ridge Tower for $78. Click here ( http://bit.ly/2fWGgMd ) to purchase.
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