After two consecutive point races of having the dominant car, Martin Truex Jr. returns to his home track this weekend – Dover International Speedway, site of his first career Sprint Cup Series win (June 4, 2007).
Dover’s Monster Mile is also where Truex scored a pair of top-10 finishes last year of sixth and seventh respectively. Those two finishes were his second and third best results during his struggling first season with the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team.
“Dover has always been special to me,” said Truex, a native of Mayetta, N.J. “Even when we went through some hard times last year, we still managed to pull off strong results at Dover. There’s just something about that place that makes me feel both confident and comfortable.”
Though victory eluded him at the recent races in Kansas and Charlotte, where he had led race highs of 95 laps in Kansas and 131 in Charlotte, Truex continues to have the utmost confidence that his single-car team is capable of winning any race it enters.
“The way our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet is running I just can't wait to get to the track,” stated Truex. “We had excellent opportunities to win the last two races in Kansas and Charlotte. We led the most laps in each race, but different pit strategies for fuel mileage bit us at the end. For the record, I've never ever liked fuel mileage races. Last week is last week, it's Dover that's on our minds right now. What we learned the past two races is that we can run up front and contend for the win.”
Truex’s numbers after one-third of the season completed (12 of 36 races) are vastly improved over a year ago. His totals for the entire 2014 season were: one top-five, five top-10s and one lap led. After only 12 races of the current season, he has already garnered three top-fives, 11 top-10s and 258 laps led. He ranks second in the driver point standings.
“We keep on making progress and that's always a good sign," noted the 34-year-old Truex.
Even with his success at Dover, Truex is well aware of the daunting challenges the all-concrete oval poses for Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.
"If your car is off in Dover it can be the most miserable 400 laps of your life,” explained Truex. “But it's also a rewarding day when your car is running strong. There's a fine line of being good and horrible at Dover. I’ve experienced both. But for me Dover is special. I consider it my home track being a New Jersey native.”