If Martin Truex Jr. were in need of an elixir to cure any racing woes, Kansas Speedway’s 1.5-mile track would be the perfect remedy for the Furniture Row Racing driver.
Truex does indeed light up when discussing Kansas Speedway, knowing he has a special kinship with the racetrack; it’s also the closest track to Furniture Row Racing’s home base in Denver.
“There’s something about the track’s geometry and my driving style that suit each other,” explained Truex. “Back in 2007 we went there (to Kansas) and I just figured something out about that track late in the race and ended up having the fastest car. Even during the years when our cars didn’t seem to run so well we always for whatever reason were able to go there and run strong. Whether it was the old track, the new track with the repave and now the new track being weathered back in again.”
Though Truex will advance to the next playoff round as a result of winning in Charlotte two weeks ago, he still plans to attack Kansas Speedway’s mile-and-a-half oval with the same intensity that he has demonstrated throughout the season.
“There are seven bonus points up for grabs and we will take as many as we can get,” said Truex. “Hopefully we won’t have to use the banked bonus points next round, but in the event we do, we want to get as many as we can.”
Truex, who will drive the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota in Kansas, enters the Hollywood Casino 400 first in the driver point standings.
A six-time tour winner this season, Truex is looking to add another victory by scoring the double at Kansas. He won the spring race at Kansas and called it a “personal relief” after coming so close to a victory there a number of times.
“It was an awesome feeling,” said Truex about winning at Kansas. “Anytime you have challenges at a certain place and come out on top is very gratifying. I had a number of heartbreakers at that track so to finally get that first win just reminded me how many times we’ve been so close and how good we’ve been there over the years. Because of all that it made the victory that much sweeter.”
So far the entire NASCAR Cup season has been nothing short of sweet for Truex, who leads the series with wins (6), stage wins (19), playoff bonus points (64) and laps led (1977).
Prior to last week’s wreck-fest at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Truex was sitting on an awesome playoff finishing average. In the first four races of the playoffs he collected two wins, a fifth and a fourth for a finishing average of 2.76. At Talladega he was involved in a 16-car race-ending accident with 19 laps remaining and ended up with a 23rd-place finish. His playoff finishing average dropped to 6.8.
“We need to have a strong showing this weekend to go into the next round with some positive momentum,” noted Truex. “It’s nice not to worry about this weekend, but the three races in the next round (Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix) have been getting a lot of my attention lately.”