As Martin Truex Jr. heads to one of the more perplexing racetracks for this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, the Furniture Row Racing driver can find solace with how his team has performed in the first five races compared to the same period last year.
After five races last season, Truex did not have any top fives or top 10s and was ranked 30th in driver points. After five races this season, Truex's lowest finish has been eighth with one top five (second at Las Vegas) and is ranked third in the driver standings.
The five straight top-10 finishes equaled the total amount of top 10s Truex achieved in 2014, his first season with Furniture Row Racing. The five straight top 10s also equals Truex's personal career best for consecutive top-10 finishes.
“Those five straight top 10s haven’t been easy,” stated Truex. “But we’ve made some nice comebacks and the early results have given Furniture Row Racing a big boost of confidence. We just need to keep on rolling and try to improve each week.”
But to keep the current pace, Truex, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, needs to figure out the Martinsville conundrum before the green flag drops for Sunday’s STP 500 at the shortest track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit of 0.526 miles.
“They call Martinsville the paper-clip track, I call it the puzzle,” said Truex. “I don't have anything against the quality of Martinsville Speedway -- it's just not one of my favorite tracks. The main reason for feeling that way is that after nearly 20 races there the track is still perplexing to me. We might have similar first names -- Martin and Martinsville -- but we just don't get along or see eye to eye. I hope we can change that this weekend.”
Truex, who is in his 10th full season of Sprint Cup competition, might be a little too harsh on himself when talking about his Martinsville results.
“It's not that I haven't run well there - I've had a couple of top-fives and a few more top-10s, but I have had a hard time finding consistency in what I am doing and trying to get my car to do on Sunday,” explained Truex. “Bottom line -- Martinsville just spins me out. I am hoping that what we do at Martinsville follows the same pattern of what we've been able to accomplish in the first five races this season."
In 18 career starts at Martinsville, Truex has posted two top-five finishes and four top-10s. Last year at Martinsville Truex finished 21 st in the spring race and crashed in the fall race, which resulted in a 38 th-place finish.