Having a Chase berth safely tucked away, Martin Truex Jr. says it will be full throttle as usual in the remaining four regular season Sprint Cup Series races.
The driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet clinched a playoff spot following Sunday’s road-race at Watkins Glen International.
“We’re not going to settle for anything less than being a contender in the next four races,” said Truex. “Producing strong performances is contagious and we want to enter the Chase with a winning momentum.”
Truex’s pre-Chase charge will commence this weekend in the Pure Michigan 400 at the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway where he finished third in the June rain-shortened race.
"We are definitely looking forward to Michigan,” said Truex. “The last time there we had a great Furniture Row Chevrolet with a lot of speed. No doubt, it was a car capable of winning. But with the on and off rain that day it came down to strategy and we ended up third.
“Though we feel very good about Michigan we're going to have to deal with that big curveball and that's the new rules package. Our guys figured out the new aerodynamic package at Indy where we came away with a solid fourth-place finish. As I keep on saying I have all the confidence in our guys -- they seem to figure out things rather quickly.”
Since his podium finish in Michigan, Truex continued to have fast cars but his results were curtailed with a string of unlucky breaks.
“We've had some tough luck lately -- saw top-fives slip away at the past two races,” noted Truex, who ranks fourth for the season in laps led (497). “Pocono we ran out of fuel with roughly two laps to go after running third. We were also running third when we had a tire go down late in the race at Watkins Glen. We also experienced bad breaks in Sonoma, Daytona, Kentucky and New Hampshire. But the luck factor is part of racing and that’s why it’s important to stay patient and upbeat.”
Another reason why Truex is indeed upbeat about Michigan is because of the success he has had this year on the 1.5 and 2-mile tracks. In those eight races, he has had seven top-10s and an average finish of 7.38.
“With the Chase having five races on mile-and-a-half tracks, this is where you need to be strong if you want to be a contender for the championship,” said Truex.
Truex's career record at Michigan includes 19 starts, four top-fives, six top-10s and a 17.2 finishing average.