Though Watkins Glen International may not rank as the No. 1 favorite track for Martin Truex Jr., the central New York road course remains near the top of his preferred venue list.
Truex, who has claimed one career road course win (2013 at Sonoma, Calif.), will be seeking No. 2 in Sunday’s CHEEZ-IT 355 At The Glen, a 90-lap race on the 2.45 mile, 7-turn circuit.
Truex has amassed three top-fives and five top-10s in eight starts at Watkins Glen. He has completed every lap -- 722 out of 722 – and his finishing average of 12.4 ranks third best on a personal level among NASCAR tracks where the Sprint Cup Series competes.
He has strung together three top-10s at the Glen with finishes of fourth (2011), 10th (2012) and third (2013).
"Watkins Glen has been a super, super good track for me,” said Truex, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet. “Had a shot of winning there the past two years. So I have a lot of confidence going in as a driver. Hopefully we can take the right things there and apply it to what we learned in Sonoma (in June) and at our recent test session at the Glen.”
Truex, who is coming off a 32nd-place finish at Pocono due to being collected in a 13-car wreckfest, feels the car and driver need to be perfect at Watkins Glen in order to pass and bring home a top finish.
"Obviously Turn 1 is a very critical passing zone,” noted Truex. “But if you can get your car handling well through the esses and get a strong run on the back straightaway it’s another opportunity to pass -- as is the bus stop.
“To be good at Watkins Glen you have to be good everywhere to have a shot at winning the race or finishing in the top-five. It’s so competitive out here sometimes people lose sight of that. The car has to be nearly perfect at every corner. Definitely a difficult thing to find but as a driver you have to figure that out. If the car is strong, confidence comes with that and you can make a pass anyplace you need to."
Truex said he didn’t specifically circle the Watkins Glen race as one that he could win, but the Furniture Row driver knows that because of his previous performances he has a good shot of visiting Victory Lane.
“We circle all the races,” said Truex. “But yes, Watkins Glen is one race that a number of teams can win, including our single-car Furniture Row team. The closing laps will be interesting.”