Martin Truex Jr. and his Furniture Row Racing team have displayed their mettle in the first two playoff starts, rallying from adversity in each race to finish first at Chicagoland Speedway and fifth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Truex would like to have a less troublesome ride in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota during the next playoff race Sunday – the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway. But the Mayetta, N.J. native is all too familiar with the pitfalls of the 1-mile, all-concrete oval, which he calls his home track.
“Though we had strong finishes the past two weekends, it sure didn’t come easy,” noted Truex. “We had a speeding penalty in Chicago and got collected in a multicar accident in New Hampshire. Some might have thought we were doomed in each race, but this team has a special kind of fight and it sure paid off with our finishes.
“Dover is one my favorite tracks, but at the same time it’s a place where things can happen quickly and knock you out of the race.”
Truex has proved he knows how to maneuver the Dover 1-mile oval known as the Monster Mile. His first career Cup victory was at Dover (spring 2007) and he is the defending champion of the fall race. Dover is also one of two tracks (Chicagoland the other) where he has had multiple Cup wins.
“Dover might be challenging but I love everything about the track,” said Truex, who finished third in the spring Dover race after winning the first two stages. “I feel we’ll have another fast car that will be competitive on Sunday. There are playoff points up for grabs and we want to get as many as we can.”
Truex enters Sunday’s final playoff race in the first round with the driver points lead. He already has secured a berth in the next round (Round of 12) which starts Oct. 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Truex’s career record at Dover includes: 23 starts, two wins, three top fives, 12 top 10s, two poles and 694 laps led. His average start at Dover is 12.1 and average finish is 13.7.