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February 14, 2015

Martin Truex, Jr.


THE MODERATOR:テつ Ladies and gentlemen, we're joined now by our second‑place finisher in tonight's Sprint Unlimited, Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the No.78 Furniture Row Chevrolet.
Martin, a strong car all night long, led for a little while.テつ Tell us how it went.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ Well, it was a lot of fun.テつ Honestly, it was the most fun I've had in a racecar in quite some time, probably about a year and a half.
Just proud of my team.テつ Proud of everybody at Furniture Row.テつ Everybody back in Denver at the shop that put the car together.
Just felt really good to be out there, you know, leading laps and mixing it up with the guys up front all night long, especially after the last year and a half being pretty rough.テつ It was pretty awesome to get out there, get back in the car tonight, have a whole bunch of fun.
Hate we came up short.テつ Just kind of two against one there at the end.テつ Kind of hard to compete with.
THE MODERATOR: テつWe'll open it up for questions.

Q.テつ The intensity level seemed like it was there from the start.テつ Do you agree?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ Absolutely.

Q.テつ Why?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ That's what made it fun.テつ Why?テつ Because there's no points on the line.テつ Everybody's just out there to win.テつ That's the only thing that matters.テつ Nobody is going to remember next year that I finished second in this race.テつ So that's kind of the mentality of everyone that goes out there.
There's a lot of things we can build off of as a team.テつ But at the end of the day, it's all about winning.テつ That's why everybody runs that hard all night long.

Q.テつ The car ran so well tonight.テつ Any concerns about your 500 car after what happened in practice?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ No, not at all.テつ You know, it was minor issues today.テつ We found the oil pan leaking a little bit.テつ No issues internally with the engine.テつ It should be fine, good to go tomorrow, yeah.
Apparently our 500 car they say is better than this one.テつ That's something to be happy about.テつ They always say that.テつ They always bring a third or fourth best car for the shootout, the Unlimited, then you get out in your 500 car on Thursday for the Duels, you're like, Damn, that car we had the other night, we should be racing it.
That car was pretty good tonight.テつ It was pretty sporty.

Q.テつ You obviously caught Matt coming into four, caught back up with him.テつ What were your options at that point?テつ Did you have a plan at that point or were you just hoping?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ Well, I mean, I was hoping that I would be catching him with a little bit more speed.テつ I kind of got the setup that I wanted coming off of two on the last lap.テつ The problem was the 19 was the car behind me.テつ He was obviously the 20's teammate.テつ He wasn't going to give me the push down the back that I needed to get the momentum to get around the 20.
I didn't have enough speed when I got to him to keep him from blocking me.テつ So the simple truth is, if Carl would have pushed me a little bit harder, he was probably dragging the brake because he didn't want me to pass his teammate.
I just didn't have enough speed on the 20 to make the move without him being able to block.

Q.テつ On the final lap, was there a point where you kind of had to give up on getting the win and just settle for second place?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ Well, once Kenseth blocked me and I lost my momentum, yeah, I mean, the race was over.テつ The 19 came up beside me.テつ We were side‑by‑side.テつ There was obviously nothing either of us could have done at that point.
Once he threw the block, slowed my momentum down, I was done.テつ There was no chance after that.テつ We would have needed two more laps to get lined up to have another shot at him.

Q.テつ Did you learn anything tonight that you can apply to group qualifying tomorrow for the 500?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ I learned a lot tonight that's going to help us throughout the week, mostly next Sunday for the race.テつ Obviously we learned a lot about our racecar.テつ We learned that it is fast.テつ It's got speed.
But honestly it's been a long time really, a couple years, since I had a car that I could make moves like that with, you know, make moves to take the lead, hold guys off for the lead, be able to run at the front all night long.
So I learned a lot.テつ I really felt like my race, the win, I gave it away when the 20 got the lead with a handful of laps to go.テつ I really felt like that was the race just because it's hard to pass the leader here, especially a guy like Matt that's really good at playing the draft and holding guys behind him.
I messed up a little bit there.テつ I kind of learned a little bit from that mistake hopefully.テつ All in all I learned a lot about our car.テつ Hopefully it's stuff that will help me on Thursday and on Sunday.

Q.テつ Martin, Logano said he was pushing you a lot tonight.テつ That was one of the things he was trying to do there with Kevin.テつ Was he giving you a lot of help out there?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ Yeah, his car was really strong.テつ He pushed me a lot.テつ Honestly, he's the only person I seen that could get on to somebody's bumper and push them forward.
Last year with this package, it seemed like when you would get on somebody's bumper, you would just slow them down.テつ He was able to get on my bumper at times and push me past people, which is kind of unheard of with this package.テつ So he's obviously got a really strong car.

Q.テつ Martin, the end of '13 was a disappointment for you.テつ '14 you led only one lap.テつ What did it feel like to have a fast car and be out front?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ Well, it's what every racecar driver dreams of, honestly.テつ It's been miserable for a while.テつ Last year was a tough year for us, on and off the racetrack.
It's just been fun to come to the racetrack.テつ If we can come to the racetrack and know we're going to have cars like that every week, that's a dream come true for me.
This is the most fun I've had in a racecar since 2013.テつ I just can't thank all the guys on our team enough, all the guys that stuck behind me and worked hard, brought us a race car like we had here tonight.テつ Hopefully we can continue that not only tonight, but throughout the season.

Q.テつ Were you surprised by the level of mayhem out there tonight?テつ 13 cars getting torn up.テつ How close did you come to any of that?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ You know, honestly, I wasn't surprised.テつ I was just glad that it was in my mirror for once.テつ I've been caught up in a lot of wrecks here over the years.
The key to staying out of them is trying to stay up front.テつ When you have a car that fast, honestly, I don't think we were out of the top three or four all night after the first couple laps.テつ That's what it takes to win the 500 and be consistent down here, you've got to have fast racecars.
I'm just excited to drive the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevy and hopefully our 500 car will be better.

Q.テつ How was your first race with Cole Pearm?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ I thought everything was great.テつ Cole did the last couple races last year so we kind of got our feet wet as far as that goes, as far as him calling the races, kind of getting accustomed to all that stuff.
Really, it was flawless.テつ I thought he did a great job.テつ He's been doing this a long time.テつ He worked beside Todd Berrier a long time, was his right‑hand man.テつ It seems like so far, it's going well.テつ I know it's Daytona and it's a little bit easier here.テつ The real test will be when we get to places like Atlanta and places like that.
So far he's done a great job of preparing all the racecars and preparing the team.テつ So far everything has run flawlessly.

Q.テつ While you were out front, multiple drivers and spotters were commenting about what a good job you were doing playing the draft.テつ How much of that is your spotter and how much is that instinctual?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ Well, the spotter, he's the guy up there telling you what's happening behind you, but the whole time you're out there, you're just staring in the mirror.テつ You're looking out the mirror 10 times more than you're looking out the windshield.
You're trying to play the lines.テつ Honestly, that was something I felt coming down here I had to work on.テつ In the past, I was normally not aggressive enough in blocking.テつ There were times I could get my car to the front and I couldn't stay there long enough because I wasn't aggressive enough at blocking.
You see guys like Matt that run up front every time here.テつ When they get out front it's really, really hard to get around them.テつ You have to have a really good run.テつ I just made one mistake tonight when I gave up the lead, that ultimately cost me the race.テつ Hopefully I'll learn going forward.

Q.テつ Martin, a number of teams caught on pit road for violations.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ I don't know what they were for.テつ I imagine it was probably for the crew jumping off the wall too early.テつ That's probably the biggest thing.
I felt like, especially here with the pit boxes being so big, I didn't feel like the three box rule in and out for the drivers was a big deal at all.テつ I came in like I normally do.テつ I barely drove through one pit box before mine.
I don't know that it's a big deal for the drivers on the bigger tracks where the pit boxes are pretty big.テつ Pit crews are probably going to have to have things they need to get through, and that's probably jumping over the wall too early.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Martin.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ Thank you.テつ Appreciate it.

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