Based on his on-track performance at the last two Sprint Cup Series races, Martin Truex Jr. is looking for more of the same in this weekend’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Truex was dominant at Texas Motor Speedway (April 9), leading a race high of 141 laps. And in Sunday’s race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, the Furniture Row Racing driver was positioned in second place late in the race before a loose wheel sent him to the rear of the field.
Though Truex posted finishes of sixth in Texas and 14th in Bristol, he felt his Furniture Row Racing Toyota had the strength to win both races.
“We left the track with mixed feelings the past two races,” said Truex. “We were obviously better than what the results showed. But the good news is that we proved to ourselves that we can be a contender on both intermediate and short tracks. We just need to get rid of those glitches that have prevented us from winning.”
Truex currently sits 10th in the Sprint Cup driver points. His best finish of the season was runner-up in the Daytona 500. His losing margin of one-hundredth of second was the closest finish in the history of NASCAR’s biggest race.
“I don’t like to look back, but I think it’s safe to say that we had the opportunity to have two win stickers on our car at this point of the season,” said Truex. “Came close at Daytona and should have won at Texas.”
Truex feels his team will have the strength to once again be in contention at Richmond’s .75-mile short track.
“I feel we can be just as strong at Richmond as we were in Texas and Bristol,” noted Truex. “We’ve gone through a major transition by switching to Toyota and having a new technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. I truly feel that we’ve come a long way in a short period of time, and feel the rest of the season looks promising for our Furniture Row Racing team.”
Regarding Richmond, Truex is quick to point out his affinity for the historical track.
“Richmond is a really cool track and always puts on a whale of a show,” said Truex. “It’s a challenging track but also rewarding if all the pieces are working. The track has its differences – the straightaways are pretty long and corner entry speeds are pretty high, which makes it feel like a big track. The turns are different – one and two are flat while three and four have a little bit of banking. It’s really hard to get the power down and that’s where the short track mentality comes into play. If you have a good car on long runs you can make big gains in track position.”