The emotional high of winning the Southern 500 Sunday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway didn’t last long for Martin Truex Jr. and his Furniture Row Racing teammates.
In the week in and week out fast-paced world of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series there’s little time to reflect about the good or the bad from the previous week’s race. And that’s precisely how Truex is handling Darlington’s post victory and the upcoming Federated Auto Parts 400 Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.
“The little time we had to celebrate the Southern 500 win was very special,” said Truex. “Even though it was short, those are the moments you cherish, nothing like celebrating a victory with your teammates after a race. While there’s a range of emotions after each race the main priority is to always look ahead. Last week was last week and the focus now turns to Richmond. There’s still plenty of unfinished business to take care of.”
With Richmond being the final pre-Chase race and Truex already guaranteed a spot in the 10-race, 16 driver playoff, the Mayetta, N.J. native says the approach for Saturday’s short track event will be the same, and that is to be aggressive and contend for the win in the No. 78 Tanger Outlets Toyota.
“Momentum is a confidence builder and that’s what we want heading into the Chase,” said Truex. “We obviously are going to Richmond in our Tanger Outlets Toyota with some mojo. We’ve been ok at Richmond in the past (9th in spring race) but know that we need to be better there as we make the pivot to the post season.”
Truex, who made it to the final four in last year’s Chase, feels his Furniture Row Racing team has the performance to be in the same position at the final race of the season in Homestead, Fla.
“We had a shot at the championship last year,” said Truex. “I feel like this year with the speed we’ve had with our Toyotas that we can go to Homestead and really have a shot at this thing. Backing up our Southern 500 win with a strong performance in Richmond will give us a big lift heading into the Chase.”
Entering Richmond – the 26th race of the season – Truex is sixth in Chase playoff standings and eighth in driver points. His season to date includes two wins, four top fives, 11 top 10s, three poles and 1,041 laps led. His average start is 9.6 and average finish 13.5.
Truex’s record at Richmond’s .75-mile oval includes 21 starts, one top five, six top 10s, 48 laps led, average start of 16.2 and a 21.3 average finish.
Truex’s Career Record at Richmond International Raceway.
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