Martin Truex Jr.’s season to date has been defined with scoring 10 top-10 finishes in the first 11 races, raising his career top-10 total to 105 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The Furniture Row Racing driver notched his first career Sprint Cup top-10 result 10 years ago – May 29, 2005 -- in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, site of Sunday’s longest race of the season (400 laps, 600 miles).
Truex, who captured back-to-back Xfinity Series championships in 2004 and 2005 was only getting started in NASCAR’s premier division when he finished seventh in the 2005 Coke 600, driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. The race was his fifth career Sprint Cup start. He became a full-time Cup driver in 2006.
The seventh-place result in the 2005 Coke 600 still stands as Truex’s best finish in 19 career starts at the 1.5-mile oval. Since then he has claimed three additional top 10s at Charlotte Motor Speedway – one in the 600 (9th, 2013) and two in the fall race (9th, 2009 & 10th, 2013).
“I haven't had the best results at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but I am feeling good heading into the weekend,” said Truex, who ranks second in driver points. “The good news for us is that our primary 600 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet will be the same car we had in Kansas a couple of weeks ago. We led the most laps in Kansas (95) and had an excellent opportunity to win that race.”
Truex added, “Since this is the longest race of the year, you hope you're at your best with 100 miles to go. The track changes a lot - the race starts in the daytime and ends at night. You need to make the proper adjustments and peak at the right time.”
Not only does Truex understand the racing strategy for NASCAR’s longest race, he also understands the meaning of the Memorial Day weekend.
“First and foremost, the Coca-Cola 600 is a weekend of remembrance for all the military personnel who paid the ultimate price so we can enjoy our freedoms here at home,” stated Truex. “It will be an honor to have Sgt. Edwin Penn's name on our No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet during the 600. He was a (1968) Vietnam war casualty, who went to basic training with our team owner Barney Visser. Sgt. Penn's family will be at the race and it would be an incredible feeling to have them see our Furniture Row Chevrolet in Victory Lane.”
Furniture Row Racing’s roster has six military veterans – team owner Barney Visser (Army, Vietnam), Charlie Krauch (Army, Vietnam), Craig Phillips (Air Force, Vietnam), John Parks (Marines), Chuck Lemay (Navy) and Barry Huston (Navy).