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November 6, 2016

Joey Logano

Martin Truex, Jr.

Fort Worth, Texas

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with our post race press conference. We're joined by Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No.78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota. Finished third tonight.
Martin, talk about the race tonight and just the challenges of not knowing when this rain was going to come and what it presented for you guys.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, it was obvious earlier today we didn't know if it was going to rain or if it wasn't. That kind of threw a loop into things. The track was quite a bit different today for probably the first 20, 25 laps. That first run was really hard on tires. A lot of guys were struggling at the competition caution. Honestly aside from that, the track was real similar to practice, I felt like. We struggled with the same issues.
Seemed like everybody was having similar issues as practice, just being loose. Interesting that the tires were so much different the last time around. But all in all it was a good day for us. We battled hard. We fought. Had a great racecar at times. Looked like we were in position to have a shot at winning.
Then the last pit stop, we had a little bit of an issue. Then inside restarts after that are just really tough. The leader on the outside has a big advantage. I guess all in all, happy with third, but wish we could have won tonight.

Q. So were you praying for the race to end or were you hoping it didn't?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: No. I needed another stop. I needed it to go all the way to the end. We were really good on the long runs. We were really good on new tires after green flag stops. I was really hoping it would go all the way. That was going to be our only chance to win after that last restart.
Was hoping it did. Cole was telling me how far out the rain was, that he thought. So he was keeping me in the loop on that. I was just like, There's nothing I can do, I need 20 more laps to even have a chance.
It was a little frustrating tonight. But like I said, all in all, a good weekend for us, a good run.

Q. Martin, you mentioned the tire was a little bit different. It seemed like all the lead changes were on pit stops. You came in a lap earlier than Logano. Was it more of a track position game than it is normally here?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I don't know. It seemed like everybody was just so loose. The bottom was really the preferred groove. This place is just so fast through the center of the corner. Even when the tires are completely worn out and your car drives awful and you're completely out of control, you get behind somebody and you lose just all your grip. It's just so fast.
So, yeah, I mean, some of it's that. I think because everybody was so loose, most of the field had to run the bottom tonight. I think that's why it was a little bit different.
But again, it's hard to say because this track's just so fast and you need the air on the car. You need air on the nose to go anywhere. That's just the way it is.

Q. What are your thoughts had it gone farther? Were you expecting to have a big mix‑up there between the three of you for the win?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I mean, it seemed like it may have closed up the longer we ran. I think Carl was really fast on short runs. Joey was fast on short runs. But he was still a little better I thought than Carl on the long runs. I was a little slower than both of them on short runs but better than both of them on long runs.
You never know how these things are going to play out. It went completely wrong for us tonight. I think if it went green, we may have been able to race for it. But nobody knows who would have done what. You throw another pit stop in there, there's a potential for problems and issues. You never know.
All in all, we'll be proud of our third and go on to Phoenix and try to do good there.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Martin.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Thanks, guys.
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Joey Logano, driver of the No.22 AAA Ford. Finished second in tonight's race. This is his seventh top‑five finish at Texas Motor Speedway.
Joey, talk about your run tonight, the challenges presented by the weather.
JOEY LOGANO: We had such a fast car, especially in the beginning of the race. Took off and we drove off to a six‑ or seven‑second lead. Was feeling pretty good about it. As the track kind of changed, we lost our handle a little bit. Lost the lead. Kind of went all the way back to fifth.
We got our balance better to where the car was getting going again. Had a good restart to get from fourth to second there at the end. With a good pit stop before that, that got us a couple spots, too.
The team did a very good job on executing when we needed to. Just, you know, didn't have enough laps. It seemed like the momentum swung the other way about three or four laps to go before the caution came out when I started catching the 19 pretty rapidly. Unfortunately it just started raining. That was the end of the race, so...
You know, it is what it is. We're going to be close. There's a lot of cars that are going to be close going into Phoenix. It's going to be entertaining. It's going to be probably the closest Phoenix race we've ever seen as far as points. It's going to be a fun one, for sure.

Q. Joey, at least you did make up some points and got closer. Are you more frustrated that you didn't get to keep racing or do you take any solace whatsoever in having improved in the standings?
JOEY LOGANO: I mean, when you're that close to winning and you lead the most laps, second stings. That's our goal every week, is to win. Anything short of that is a failure. I feel like we were so close to that today.
But ultimately, like you say, we did gain some points. We're in right now. We were out going into this race. So, you know, we did the best we could as far as leading laps and getting that bonus point, or those two bonus points with the most laps led as well. But we didn't get the win part. That would have been nice.

Q. Joey, I had the impression the first half of the race distance your car was quite fast, and around lap 210 you were losing speed. Was the car handling different?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, we lost a little bit of speed, you know. Some of that could have been we lost the lead on a green flag cycle. Some of that could just be as simple, you know, when you lose the lead, cars pitting one lap before you, they gain three seconds. You come out and then there's another three cars that are in between you, as well, so then you got to pass those guys. You're beating your tires up trying to pass those guys that the leader didn't have to pass because he cycled in front of them. It's just a snowball effect until you can get it back ahead of that.
We needed a caution to catch back up. We had that. Like I said, we got back to where we were going to be faster again, racing up front, putting the clean air back on it. But just a little bit too late.

Q. This is the second time there is a rain‑shortened race in this elimination style Chase. You would certainly want to come back. What is the general feeling on rain‑shortened races in the Chase? Should there be a rule you run it to completion?
JOEY LOGANO: No, the rule's the rule. The rule is that you get past halfway and it rains. I don't blame NASCAR for the decision they made tonight. We saw how long it took to dry this thing out. What are we going to do, make everyone stay here till tomorrow and watch it rain tomorrow? That's probably not the right move.
Again, it's the rule. It's been that way since I've been watching NASCAR racing at least. I don't know how long that rule has been in place. It seems like forever.
I don't see a need to change it. It's part of the game. We all knew it was coming. We all have cell phones that have radar on it. Everyone has the ability to see it.
I knew we were racing till the rain. We weren't going to make it till the end. I knew it was going to get aggressive. The last restart was going to be the money restart. Got one spot or a couple spots, but not the last one.

Q. I realize this might be pointless, but did you feel, had the rain not come, you were optimistic you would have had a shot at him?
JOEY LOGANO: We had a shot, yeah. We were catching him. I was in the car saying it was barely raining. Might have been a little biased to say it was barely raining. I am sure most of the field said it was pouring. I was thinking, I need to keep racing this thing until I can get to him. If that means we're sliding out in the wet, then that's what we had to do.
But, you know, I think we would have had a shot. I would have loved to race till the end of the race. I think if we had another restart, my pit crew were on it tonight. They were freakin' awesome. I would have loved to come down pit road again and give them another shot to get me on the front row and try to have another restart to clear him.
Seemed like it was possible. The bottom and the top lane on the restarts were pretty equal. If you're in the front row, you have as good a shot as anybody to take the lead.

Q. You said Friday night you hope they never repave this place. Apparently the reason it took more than three hours to dry it today was they have a lot of problems with that top layer. Would you be understanding if they decide they need to repave it in the off‑season?
JOEY LOGANO: I'd rather it just not rain (laughter). Is that possible? Start saying prayers. I don't know. Talk to the man upstairs about that one.
You know, I do. I don't want to say I get it, but I do. You can't have a racetrack that takes that long to dry. You can't have that.
But, golly, I really like the way this track races right now. It's a lot of fun. You can run the top, bottom. It's bumpy. It's just awesome right now. All but that one thing.
So depends what everyone wants to live with. Pick your poison, right?
THE MODERATOR: Joey, thank you.
JOEY LOGANO: Thank you, guys.

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