Friday, Sep 29

Reser's Fine Foods Racing: Martin Truex Jr. Pala Casino 400 Advance

Notes of Interest

● Truex and the No. 19 team for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) set the tone for the season right out of the gate by winning the 150-lap feature in the non-points Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 5. Truex won his heat race, then went on to lead the final 25 laps of the feature en route to a victory that gave him and the team much-needed momentum heading into the 2023 season. He’s hoping a trip back to Southern California can net his first points-paying win of the year.


● Reser’s Fine Foods is back as primary sponsor on the No. 19 Toyota this weekend in Fontana. This is Reser’s 11th season as a partner with JGR and 3rd season with Truex. Reser’s is the leading provider of fresh refrigerated deli salads, sides, and prepared foods.  Family owned and operated, Reser’s has been a proud sponsor of good times at racetracks, picnics, BBQs, and affordable family meals since 1950. Reser’s family of brands include Reser’s American Classics, Main St Bistro, Stonemill Kitchens, and more. With more than 4,500 employees, Reser’s operates 14 facilities in the US, Mexico, and Canada and actively supports the communities it serves. Visit to learn more.


● Truex has one win, two top-five finishes and seven top-10s and has led a total of 236 laps in 21 career Cup Series starts at Fontana. Truex’s average Fontana finish is 17.2.  


● Truex notched his lone Fontana victory back in 2018 when he qualified on the pole and went on to lead a race-high 125 laps en route to his win on the 2-mile oval. 


● While he doesn’t like to play favorites, Truex certainly excels at tracks with worn-out surfaces, where driver skill is key to managing the tires and the racecar over the course of a long race. At three such tracks, Auto Club Speedway, Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway, Truex has notched four wins, 13 top-five finishes, and 29 top-10s and has led 1,382 laps.


● With his 15th-place finish in the Daytona 500, Truex heads to Fontana 10th in the standings, 20 points from the lead, as the Cup Series continues its stretch of 17 consecutive race weekends without a break in the schedule.


Martin Truex Jr., Driver of the No. 19 Reser's Fine Foods Toyota Camry TRD


Having won at Fontana, does it make it bittersweet that the track in its current configuration might be going away?


“It does. I love the racetrack, it’s one of my favorites and I’m not one to pick favorites. It will be a bit bittersweet going out there for the last time with the 2-mile oval. I’m going to miss it and hopefully we have a good last showing out there, it’s been good for us. All I’m going to do is go out there a think about how we can win and have a great weekend with our Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota. Reser’s is the sponsor of our team and of good times, so I can’t think of a better time than winning, and that’s what we will work toward this weekend.”


With the pavement so worn at Fontana, what are the challenges to get your car where it needs to be for 400 miles there?


“For starters, you want to be able to race in between the seams. If you don’t hit that right, you lose a ton of grip and a ton of traction. If you don’t hit that right, it can really change how your car drives. Between the bumps and the tire wear, there are a lot of challenges. You start the run, you feel like superman and you have a ton of grip and the car is really hooked up into the track. After 10 laps, then 15 laps, then 20 laps, it just gets worse and worse and you are sliding around a lot and wearing the tires out. There’s a real balance there of having a car that well balanced but you have to make sure the car can take off on short runs and restarts, but also in the long run with the tires because the thing is sliding all over the place and running against the wall and moving lanes around. It’s just a fun track to be able to do that.”


Where the most challenging part of Fontana to get figured out in order to be successful there?


“Turn two is probably the toughest part of the track because it’s the tightest radius. The exit of the corner is a lot tighter than the exit of turn four and down the front straightaway. There’s also less banking off of turn two, as well. That’s definitely the trouble spot and the most challenging place to get your car working well at Fontana.”


Was it a huge relief to get the monkey off your back by getting the win in the Clash?


“Yeah, absolutely. I think points or whatever, it’s a big deal. Winning in the Cup Series is a big deal. It’s a big win. Going winless last year and then to be able to go out and do that, it’s huge for us, it’s huge for me. I feel so good about our team and what we’re doing and what we can do. We showed that last year at times but not consistently enough, and then we did have some heartbreakers that were disappointing. Hopefully this year we’ll have a little better luck and we’ll be able to take care of a lot more things ourselves. Now that we have Daytona behind us and getting to some of these tracks where things are a lot more in our control, it’s exciting, for sure.”


How difficult was last season on you?


“It was tough, we never gave up. We worked hard and had a lot of headwinds, a lot of things working against us. At the end of the day, we didn’t win and we needed to win, so missing the playoffs by three points and just all these things that happened. We were right there. We could have turned the season around by just one of those things going right. We were fourth in points at the end of the regular season and we didn’t make the playoffs. It’s crazy to think about it. That’s the way the season played out, and we had to have one of the little things turn our way and they never did. This year we’re just going to work hard. I’ve never seen a team more determined. We’re fired up for the year and going out and winning the Clash showed us that we’re doing the right stuff and we’re going to be fine.”




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