Notes of Interest
● Truex and the No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry 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 the victory.
● Truex has one top-10 finish in the first two races at Circuit of Americas, as he brought home a seventh-place finish there in 2022.
● Road Course Ace: Truex has a total of four wins, 12 top-five, and 17 top-finishes at the three permanent road course venues on the Cup Series schedule at Circuit of Americas, Sonoma (Ca.) Raceway, and Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. Truex has tallied three wins at Sonoma and one at Watkins Glen.
● Ahead at this Stage: Truex leads the NASCAR Cup Series with 56 stage wins since the beginning of the stage era in 2017. He is the only driver with 10 or more stage sweeps, as well. While Truex came close to winning a stage at the season-opening Daytona 500, he does not have a stage win so far this year. Last weekend at Las Vegas, Truex finished sixth and fourth, respectively, in the opening two stages and collected valuable points that could prove important at the end of the regular season.
● With his 19th-place finish at Atlanta last weekend, Truex heads to the Circuit of Americas eighth in the standings with 145 points, 32 out of the lead
Martin Truex Jr., Driver of the No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD
What are your thoughts headed to Austin this weekend based on what you had there last year and what you’ve learned about this car, particularly on road courses?
“COTA is a place that’s pretty fun for us. But last year we just never got the car where we needed it. I was definitely worried after practice – I was not feeling too good. Your hands are so tied to these things with these short practices, so having some time to make bigger changes after practice will be helpful. I’m looking forward to the extra track time on Friday and get a chance to work on it overnight and see what we have for Saturday and Sunday. We’ve learned so much over the last year about this car and what it likes and what it doesn’t, so hoping we can come with a lot more knowledge than we had this time last year and get the car where we need it to have a shot to win and run up front all day long. Looking forward this this weekend with our Bass Pro Shops Toyota team.”
What type of track causes the most chaos in the Cup Series these days?
“The obvious answer to most is the superspeedways and how things happen and how it can take out a lot of cars quickly. However, road course restarts have become the next craziest part of what we do. Looking back at last year, we crashed on one of the restarts with guys going five and six wide and guys make up eight to 10 spots in one corner. I think that’s the biggest change in our sport the last few years.”
They are putting in the choose rule on restarts at the road course starting this year, with COTA being the first race under the new rule. What are your thoughts on adding it to the road courses?
“I don’t think it’s a huge deal anywhere we go, other than tracks that are one lane dominant like a Michigan or a place like that, unless you are in the front two or three rows and that’s where it makes the most difference and that’s probably what will happen on road courses as well and what I would expect this weekend at COTA.”