Martin Truex Jr. enters this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway third in driver points as a result of scoring seven-straight top 10s to open the 2015 campaign.
The last time a driver claimed seven top-10 finishes to start a Sprint Cup Series season was 10 years ago in 2005 when Jimmie Johnson accomplished the feat. The record for consecutive top-10s to open a new season is 11, set by Morgan Shepherd in 1990.
Though the top-10 streak has been defining Truex’s heartwarming comeback story on the Sprint Cup Series circuit, the driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet has a different take as he prepares for Sunday’s Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes at the 0.533-mile, high-banked oval.
“Right now the team isn’t thinking about the top-10 streak, we’re more interested about getting ready for the Bristol race and posting another strong finish,” said Truex. “I’ve been through a lot at that track, including a runner-up finish in the Sprint Cup Series, a win in the Xfinity Series and a couple of crashes. I even suffered a fractured wrist there two years ago in the summer night race.”
While the160,000-seat Bristol Motor Speedway bullring has a long history of demolition derby style of racing, Truex still gives a resolute thumbs up to the facility, which is also known as the Last Great Colosseum.
“I’ve taken my blows at Bristol, but still love to race there,” said Truex. “No doubt, it can be a frustrating place but it’s also a fun track to compete at. I always look forward to Bristol. This race is even more special because the track is honoring our good friend Steve Byrnes who is battling health issues.”
Truex, who finished sixth in last month’s short track race in Martinsville, Va., feels there’s no secret formula or strategy when taking on Bristol’s cantankerous all-concrete track.
“Unlike the old Bristol, you want to run the high side,” noted Truex. “Before the track was repaved we all fought to run the low lane. We feel our short track program is sound and it better be since the next two races are at short tracks. Bristol is about being patient and staying out of someone else’s mess. I’ve been through it all at Bristol from crashing to having strong runs.”
Following Bristol, the Sprint Cup circuit heads to another short track, Saturday night April 25 at the 0.75-mile Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.