Martin Truex Jr. knows that if he can avoid the wrecks at Bristol Motor Speedway in Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race he will have a good shot at winning his first career short track race.
A 19-time tour winner, Truex has come close a number of times to winning at a NASCAR Cup Series short track but something always surfaced to curtail his chance of victory.
In the spring race at Bristol it didn’t take long for Truex to experience problems. He was collected in a Lap 3 multicar accident at the half-mile oval.
“I haven’t had the best of luck at short tracks,” said Truex. “But there have been opportunities to win at short tracks, including Bristol. I also feel we had the car to beat in the last two races at Richmond (.75-mile track). We were confident going into this year’s spring race at Bristol but got damaged on the third lap in a multicar wreck.”
Another missed opportunity of a short track win was when Truex was leading late in the April, 2017 Bristol race but was called for a pit road speeding penalty.
“Bristol is one of those places you have to be perfect all day in order to win,” Truex noted. “Even though I have had my share of misfortunes at Bristol, I continue to feel confident about racing there.”
When Truex talks about misfortunes at Bristol the statistics back him up with one top-10 finish in the last 12 races.
“We need to change that and hopefully it will be this weekend,” Truex said.
Truex, who will drive the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Toyota Camry at Bristol, will be aiming to acquire a few more playoff points with only three races remaining before the 10-race post-season commences.
Truex is ranked third with 27 playoff bonus points entering Bristol. He is also ranked third in overall driver points.
“We’ll be racing smart but not holding back either,” Truex said. “The competition is definitely picking up and to get to Homestead as one of the final four you have to be consistent, avoid mistakes and stay away from accidents.”
Along with his four wins this season, the Furniture Row Racing driver has also posted 15 top-five finishes in the 23 races contested. His average start is 9.6 and average finish is 9.3.
Truex’s career record at Bristol includes 25 starts, two top fives, three top 10s and 230 laps led. His average start at Bristol is 16.2 and has an average finish of 20.7.