Capturing consecutive top-10 finishes is not a celebratory time for Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing.
But after a slow start to the 2014 season and a whole bunch of bad luck the sixth-place finish in Dover followed by a ninth in Pocono has the Denver-based team feeling more optimistic as the first half of the season is coming to a close.
Truex and his single-car team is looking to continue the momentum in this weekend’s Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway.
“I feel our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet will be good at Michigan due to our recent gain in speed,” said Truex. “We have some momentum right now and need to build on that. Things are much brighter with our Furniture Row team than they were earlier in the season.”
Truex has had success at Michigan with a pair of runner-up finishes in 2007 and a third-place result in last year’s June race. His career record at Michigan includes 16 starts, three top-fives, five top-10s and 71 laps led.
“I am not sure about Michigan,” stated Truex. “Since the track was repaved it changed the style of racing there. The track is just too fast right now. I am hoping the new pavement is wearing out a little to slow us down. I enjoyed the old asphalt at Michigan where you could run all over the place.
“But give credit to the track for making improvements with the repave. We’re professionals and it's our job to deal with the track conditions.”
Truex feels the team’s recent improvement can be contributed to more speed in the Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet plus avoiding bad luck, which had prevented the team from finishing a number of races.
“We had top-10 cars all year but we were not able to finish races,” said Truex, who also had a top-10 at Richmond in April. “The last two weeks we finished the races and got some decent results. We’re gaining but still have a ways to get to where we want to be.”
Truex added, “We still need to get that victory to make the Chase. And the progress we’ve made lately gives us more optimism to nail down that win.”