Martin Truex Jr. feels his Furniture Row Racing team is overdue for showing its talent at NASCAR’s short track venues.
The first opportunity for the Denver-based, single-car team to reverse the short track woes will be Saturday night in the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at the 0.75-mile Richmond International Raceway.
“We threw two strong performances and a lot of points out the window in the last two short track races,” said Truex. “We had a couple of things happen to us that knocked us from bringing home solid finishes at both Bristol and Martinsville.”
At the half-mile Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in mid March Truex’s No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet was running 14th and charging in the late stages of the race, but a broken track bar mount sent him to the garage for repairs and a 36th-place finish.
“Our Furniture Row Chevrolet kept on getting better and better at Bristol and I was confident that we had a potential top-10 performance there before the breakage,” explained Truex.
Two weeks later at the half-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Truex saw another top performance tail off.
After taking a couple of hard hits at the crowded flat track, Truex kept plugging through the damage and was moving forward. But a speeding penalty while positioned in the top-10 at the halfway point of the race, sent him to the rear of the field. He attempted another late-race charge, but a hit and spin sent him to a 21st-place finish.
“Martinsville was just another bad deal,” noted Truex. “But the finishes that we are capable of having are coming, and hopefully it will start this weekend at Richmond. From the way we ran at Bristol and Martinsville we should be running up front on Saturday night.”
The good news for Truex is his fondness for the Richmond short track, where he has posted three top-10 finishes.
“Richmond is just a fun racetrack to go to and try to get a win, said Truex. “Without a doubt the whole track is difficult. It’s hard to get a car working good there. You know -- the old short track terms -- you have to turn in the center and have forward drive. Finding that balance to get the car rolling in the center and try to take care of that forward bite is something you really have to work on at Richmond.”