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September 25, 2016

Martin Truex, Jr.

Loudon, New Hampshire

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by our seventh‑place finisher, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Denver Mattress Toyota. Why don't you take us through that final restart there.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Final restart was not good for us. Final two really weren't. You know, we'd raced with Matt so hard for the lead there for such a long time that I just kind of burned my tires up, and then really had trouble getting going on those last two restarts, lost a few spots. It was unfortunate to have a car that good all day long and then come home seventh, but all in all, it was a fun day. We led a lot of laps and the team did a great job all weekend, so it was another good weekend for us, and we'll go on to Dover and see if we can't finish the deal off there.

Q. The fact that you've won a race and that you were in a Toyota, did that impact kind of how you raced Kenseth there? Looked like you guys were so close but also looked like you were kind of making sure you didn't do anything that would ruin his day.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I mean, I was trying to race as hard as I possibly could without getting into him, and he wasn't making that easy. But that's his job as the leader. This racetrack is‑‑ it's hard to pass at. It's really hard to pass on when you have two cars that are very equal. I felt like we were a little bit better than him at that point in time but not better‑‑ good enough to just drive by him. He was running the line that I needed to run, and just I could get inside him, but he didn't give me much room underneath him to get any grip, and every time we'd go off in the corner I'd get loose and have to back out from underneath him. It was tough racing, hard racing.
You know, I felt like I probably could have pushed the issue a little bit more, just didn't want to risk contact, getting into him and taking him out of the race. I know he's got a lot on the line. We've got our win, so that kind of played into that decision a little bit, and like you said, he's a teammate, too. It would be an awkward meeting on Tuesday if I knocked him out of the way to win my second race of the first round.

Q. I know obviously you were at the front most of the day, so how surprised are you that in one sense Harvick won? Did you see him at any point? Or are you not surprised because this is what he does in the Chase?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I'm not surprised. I mean, they've been running well. I wish Matt didn't let him win. He raced me that hard and held me behind him all that time. If I just could have got by him, I don't think anybody could have touched us. I felt like with him being able to hold us off, I thought he was going to be okay. But I think he was in the same position as me. I think he ran really hard trying to keep me behind him.
We both burned our tires off. Man, we were going as hard as we could go every single lap, and I think Harvick was back there in clean air. He wasn't as fast as we were, so he was just running smooth, consistent laps, and he ended up having better tires than us at the end.
I think Kyle and Brad and a couple of those guys came from the back on some fresher tires, but they weren't on the front row, either. He just was in the right spot at the right time, made the right move, and he obviously was competitive all day long. It's not like he come out of nowhere. He was competitive. He kept his head in the game all day, and it worked out for him. Congrats to those guys. They'll be strong all Chase long just like we were last year and the year before.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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