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November 22, 2015

Martin Truex, Jr.

Homestead, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Our next Championship 4 driver, coming in 12th tonight, Martin Truex Jr.
He's the driver of the No.78 Furniture Row Denver Mattress Chevrolet for Furniture Row Racing. I know you're disappointed you didn't get the prize you were wanting to get, but what a super season the No.78 team had.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, obviously a little disappointed in the way we ran this weekend, just never could‑‑ really never could quite hit on anything to get the car to do the things we needed it to. Not from a lack of effort. The guys really put a lot of effort into bringing this car here and really throughout the weekend we tried a lot, and we worked really hard on it.
We weren't‑‑ we didn't have much speed in practice, and we changed a lot last night on it trying to kind of go a different direction. Just never could quite hit on it. So a little disappointed in our run, but super proud of our season and really proud to come this far to come from 24th in points last year to 4th this year is a pretty big step, and I don't think most people realize just how big of a deal it is and how hard it was for us to get that far.
Really proud of Joe and Barney and just everybody at our team, everybody back in Denver. You know, got to thank everybody obviously at ECR for great engines, and everybody at RCR for the past two years. The alliance we had with those guys worked really well, and really want to say "thank you" to them for treating us like one of their own.
You know, that's about it. Just a little disappointed in the way we ran here. This used to be a really good track for me, and the past two races it's just been a struggle. Hopefully we can figure it out and be back in this position next year and try to figure out a way to battle for this thing.

Q. Were you surprised that you guys made as many changes overnight to the car?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Not really, just because of the fact that we were racing three other guys, and we knew all three of them were better than us yesterday. Without‑‑ we really felt like without trying something quite different, we weren't going to get there because we had tried so many different things throughout practice, different packages, to try to get the feel or get some‑‑ really get some grip in the car. It just was never there for us. So we figured we had to take a big swing at it, and honestly I don't think it really was any worse than it was in practice. We just never could quite hit on it. No matter what we did, it wouldn't turn and you couldn't use the throttle at all, either. We fought both problems all weekend, and really if we could have maybe made some gains on at least one of the problems, we might have been a little better.
We just couldn't get it to do anything we wanted. A little frustrated in that, but a great effort, and I guess you have days like these. Just unfortunate it was when everything was on the line.

Q. I'm sure there will be some people who say, hey, Furniture Row Racing ought to be happy that they got here, but I suspect that what you guys have accomplished this season will probably only inspire you to do more. Will that be the attitude that you kind of take back into the start of next season?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, for sure. I mean, we were definitely up against a lot here. The odds were against us for sure. You know, obviously really proud of everybody, like I said, and you know, we didn't come here saying we were going to be okay finishing fourth. We came here and really tried everything in our power, everything we knew how to do, to put together our best performance. It just wasn't in the cards for us.
I think this is great motivation for us for next year. I think that with the things we have coming and going to Toyota and teaming up with JGR and all that stuff, I think the future is bright for this team, and we're keeping all our guys together, and hopefully this is our first season battling for a championship but not our last. I really feel strong that this is a special group of guys, and if we can keep that together for hopefully the rest of my career, I'd love to drive for them.
We'll just have to wait and see what happens. You never know what the future holds, but excited already about next year, and I think we'll be back here in mid‑December testing already for next year. Not a whole lot of rest, and looking forward to spending a week or so down here relaxing and having a few beers, catching a few fish, and really just let it all soak in what we've been able to accomplish, and really proud of everybody on our team.

Q. Talk about your pit stop strategy, especially you went with two tires quite a few times but then you went with four in the last stop.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, we did. We were just trying‑‑ we had to try something. We weren't getting anywhere. We made just about every adjustment we could possibly make on our race car and never really seemed like we could find that speed, so we were just taking some gambles. We did two early and it worked out for us pretty well. We did two later on and the race went green longer than we had hoped and we probably lost two spots because of it. But I think all in all at the end of the day, net‑net, we kind of ended up where we should have. We just didn't have the speed, so we were trying to gamble on some things and trying to get some track position any way we could, just couldn't hang onto it.
THE MODERATOR: Martin, congratulations on an outstanding season in 2015, and we know that you will be back competing again for a championship next season.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Thank you. Thanks, everybody. Have a good off‑season.

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