MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
What has been the difference the last couple of years here at Phoenix?
“I think we just had a little bit of time where we just weren’t very good here – car wise and setup wise and all of those things. It is just things we worked through last couple of years really, it’s been really good for us. Obviously last year we had two great runs here. Just learned more about the track. The track has changed over the years I think, and it seems like the more its aged and they started spraying and things like that – it’s just suited me a little bit better I think.”
Will drivers try to use the apron today?
“I think that you are probably going to have to do it in the race tomorrow, so you kind of need to see what it’s going to do down there. I think a lot of guys are going to do it today, but I’m not real sure what the cause and effect is going to be or if it’s going to tear up the diffuser real bad, because that’s an issue. Not sure.”
Can you apply anything from past experience here?
“I think understanding the racetrack and how it’s going to change throughout the weekend is important. They sprayed resin here like they did last year. We tested here back in January, and they didn’t spray it, so no one really ran off the bottom so that whole two days of testing was pretty much useless. So, understanding the track – we only get 20 minutes of practice to understand out where your car is at and figure out where you think the track is going to go tomorrow to make the right adjustments for the race will be key.”
What is your comfort level with the car right now?
“It’s definitely improving I think – just getting more experience. Going to tracks we haven’t been to has been a big part of that learning process. I’m getting more comfortable with it every week behind the wheel standpoint to kind of find that edge and where the car wants to be, figuring out exactly how the tires react. It’s been a bit different, so bit of a learning curve there and just learning as a team what the car needs to work well on the racetrack so lot of learning. Lots of getting more comfortable and so far, it has been good.”
What is your give and take level at the beginning of the race?
“I don’t know if you will necessarily give up spots not going down there, but I think at some point during the race there will be time when you have to hold position or maybe improve. I’m not sure. I’m sure we are going to have a conversation about that here in a few minutes before practice starts and come up with a plane. You just don’t know – it’s too early to tell.”
Have you been in the simulator for Atlanta, and do you have any idea how it’s going to race?
“I have not, and I have no idea. It’s going to be a small Daytona – narrow small Daytona. Wide open, drafting.”