Though Talladega has been a mixed bag of Sprint Cup finishes for Martin Truex Jr., the Furniture Row Racing driver has proven multiple times that he can maneuver and win at the daunting Alabama superspeedway.
All Truex needs to do is look back at his Xfinity Series record at Talladega where he competed four times and strung together three consecutive wins from 2004 to 2006.
The Furniture Row Racing driver sits on the plus side of making the Chase’s final eight as the Sprint Cup Series heads to Talladega for Sunday’s showdown in the third and final race of the Contender Round of 12 drivers.
Truex, who is coming off a 15th-place finish in Kansas, is eighth in the Chase standings, one point from fifth and six points ahead of ninth. He has a 10.0 finishing average in the five Chase races to date.
Asked if he feels comfortable with a six-point margin the 35-year-old veteran smirked and emphatically replied, “Are you kidding me, of course not. We’re going to Talladega. Do I need to say more?”
He added, “Outside of Joey Logano (two-time Contender Round winner) nobody feels safe about advancing to the next round. Talladega is Talladega where anybody can win and anybody can crash. This is the wildcard race that has had everybody talking about since the start of the Chase.”
In his most recent venture at the 2.66-mile tri-oval, Truex drove his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet to a fifth place finish in the spring race.
“We’re going to race our own race, that’s all you can do,” explained Truex. “You can’t predict when or where the big one will happen. We just have to race smart, stay safe and then see how it all shakes out. It’s all going to come down to putting yourself in position on the final lap to get the finish you need.
“Maybe on that last lap you might want to know where the other guys are. If you got to pass one coming to the checkered, it’s going to matter. Aside from that, I don’t know that worrying about it is going to do you any good. The consistently big winner at Talladega is the entertainment value the race brings to the fans in the stands and to the folks at home watching the drama unfold.”