home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 12, 2017

Martin Truex, Jr.

Las Vegas, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: Martin, kind of take us through those last couple laps, pretty wild.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, last couple laps were great, nothing out the windshield. Just it was a crazy race. We had such a good car all day long and felt like it slipped away from us there. The 2 car got out front, and that last restart, really thought we were going to run second. Got a little bit lucky with him having an issue and got the win.
But honestly been on the other side of those things plenty of times, so definitely feels good to take advantage of somebody else's issue for once and go to victory lane. All in all, it was a good day, good weekend. We had speed all weekend long with our Bass Pro Toyota, it was just a matter of getting the balance right and getting it driving the way I needed to.
Even as close as we were yesterday in practice, we made a lot of changes last night based on feel, and the direction we felt we needed to go, and the guys just did a phenomenal job getting the car the way that we needed it. Thankful to be able to put it all together. Feels good to be here, and first win at Vegas feels awesome.

Q. What was going through your mind after he caught you in that‑‑ towards the end and then you had the opportunity to fight back? Did you think you had enough laps left to catch him, and a follow‑up, how does it feel, how do you like the new stage racing now that you just maxed points today?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I liked it today. It was good. I think stage racing has been really fun so far, I think. You know, I was a proponent of it before the season started, but we all didn't really know how it was going to play out, and I think it's been definitely‑‑ it's been a lot of fun. It's been exciting. I think the coolest part is if you run really good, you get rewarded even if you have a bad finish for a wreck or something bad happens. I think that's probably a cool part of it. That really would have helped us last year. We ran so good and led so many races, and always didn't get the finish we probably deserved or thought we should have gotten, and so it's cool to get rewarded for running good and pushing hard and being up at the front of the pack more consistently than other guys. I like it a lot. I think it's been a lot of fun. The strategy certainly gets mixed up depending on where you're at on tires and what track you're at. There's so many things that dictate when you can pit and when you want to to make these stages work.
We did an awful job of it at Daytona and since it's gone pretty well for us, so so far it's been a lot of fun. As far as the 2 goes, him and I felt like all day we were very equal. Whoever got out front was stronger for sure. I felt like we were better on the shorter runs, especially if we could get out front, and he was better on the longer runs. You know, that run right before the last caution was the longest we've gone on tires all day, and my track bar quit working, I couldn't adjust it anymore, and I just started to struggle honestly towards the end of that run, and he was still digging pretty good and honestly just drove by us, I really felt like the race was over at that point, especially after the last pit stop. He beat us out, took off and beat us on the restart. I thought, oh, we're going to run second, which is still a good day, but you always want to win. Like I said, fortunately he had issues and we took advantage of them.

Q. Martin, do you feel like maybe things are starting to even out a little bit given the breaks you've had in the past and finally getting a good one today?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I sure hope so. Cole and Barney were in disbelief. I have been driving for them for about four years now, I guess. If they only seen all the other times this has happened in my career. I could go way back. I think I've definitely paid my dues, but it was just one of those deals. Things like this happen. Brad took advantage of Kevin's mistake last week to win, and today he was on the other side of it.
I think the important thing for us is we're starting off the season strong. We're putting ourselves in position to win races, and that's really the key. If we can continue to run up front, lead laps, run at the front of the pack all day, you're going to put yourself into position to win races, and that's what we did today. This is the first time we've really taken advantage of somebody else's issue. I'm sure if we keep running up front, it's going to happen again. We'll just keep working hard and see what we can do.

Q. Tire testing out here a couple of months ago with Goodyear, how was the tires on your car today, and we heard that you didn't really blister anything up. How did that react on the hot track today?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, tires were good, I thought. A lot of grip taking off and just continued to get slower and slower throughout the run. I think at the end of the run, the cars were a real handful. Mine was a handful and I was out there leading, so I'm sure there was other guys that were really struggling. It's kind of typical of Vegas. You feel pretty good all weekend long, and on Sunday the track gets slippery and the sun is beating on it and everybody out there running, it just gets slick. So I thought the tires were good, the tire wear. There was no issues but we did have good tire wear to where you could really let off the throttle early and be out of the gas for a long time to promote racing. So I thought it was good. Tires felt good to me, and no issues there.

Q. Did you have any view of what happened behind you as you were crossing the finish line? Do you have anything you saw?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: No, I didn't see anything. I heard about it a little bit, that there was a little bit of a fight that broke out. I honestly have no idea on the details, but I'm sure I'll hear about it and see it on Twitter when I get my phone and be able to read about it on the way home tonight.
Who was fighting anyway? Kyle and Joey? Who won?

Q. Not Kyle.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: But how many‑‑ like was it one‑on‑one? Well what? Yeah or no.

Q. It started one‑on‑one.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Okay, well, how did that look? Was it a pretty fair fight? Like haymaker swing?

Q. There was blood involved.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I'm sure NASCAR is going to love that one.
On that note, I should probably go, huh?

Q. What's the biggest lesson you learned from today's race that you can apply towards the rest of the West Coast swing?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: You know, I don't think anything really sticks out as far as lessons go. I think we really went out there today and raced like we always do. You know, like I said earlier, we made a lot of changes to our car last night. Definitely proud of my guys for their effort on that and just really understanding what I want in the race car and being able to give it to me, so that was important.
But I think just‑‑ it just reminds you that you never know what can happen. You always push until the end. You never throw in the towel. You never give up, and you always push until the checkered flag falls because you don't know what's going to happen, and that's really always kind of been our mentality, me personally and our as a group. We fight hard, we're a scrappy bunch and we never give up. Like I said, finally one went our way today.

Q. You guys have had like some growing pains to start the season. You've had some inspection issues, Cole and them had to go back and work on the car. Did any of that really turn out to be what you would consider a big deal or kind of disrupt your start to the season, and is it even more impressive that you've been able to perform considering you've had to go through those things?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, that's a good question. I think it definitely hurt us at Daytona, just the chaos of having to do what the guys had to do and working hard and not getting through tech so many times. It was kind of a black eye really for the team. So it caused a lot of extra work, obviously. They all had to fly back to Denver when everybody else had two days off in Daytona to work on it. But that's really just how our guys are. They'll do anything. They'll do whatever it takes. You look at our race season, and everybody talks about the West Coast swing, the three races out here. Well, 33 of the races probably are a West Coast swing for our team, and you look at how many things, trailers and trucks and parts and pieces go back and forth across the country, and they always have to leave a day early and all the sacrifices that they make. That's really what sticks out about it to me.
It was definitely a tough deal for them, but I really think they put it behind them as soon as Daytona was over. They got the Atlanta car straightened out really quickly, fortunately, and we went to Atlanta and didn't have any issues. We definitely had a stronger car there than we finished. We had the clutch problem. We ran most of the race with no clutch, so pit stops were a problem and we still ran‑‑ still finished eighth. We had I felt like a top‑5 car there and then a good weekend here. Having a new 2018 Camry, it's been a little different, so definitely been a good job out of the guys trying to figure it out. I feel like it's definitely a good start, and I'm not sure we expected to win this soon, but it definitely feels good that we did.

Q. We were talking Friday and you weren't quite happy with the qualifying, left something out there, but you still had P2. After practice and leading up to the race today, how did the car feel and the potential that you had to win this thing even though it went south toward the end?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah. You know, really it's been a pretty solid weekend for us. I think for me, I felt all weekend that if we could just get the car to feel right, we were going to be fast. We had good speed, obviously, in qualifying. We missed the balance a little bit and so we were second, but any time you can be off on the balance a little bit and still have speed to qualify at the front, it's usually a good sign.
Yesterday we had decent speed again, but the balance was not what I was looking for, and we really struggled on longer runs. Today we definitely were better there, and so, you know, it was really just a good weekend. Made good decisions. Everybody did a great job. The pit crew was flawless today. They did a phenomenal job, and we did all the things it takes to win. You know, if the 2 didn't have an issue, we were going to run second, but it still was going to be a really good solid weekend, solid day, and no mistakes by anyone and obviously a really good performance.

Q. Technically I guess Kansas would be your closest track for your shop, but do you have any extra special people here this week, being out here on the West Coast? Does that mean more?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I think we definitely get a lot more fans from the Colorado area that show up out here. I met a lot of them this weekend, so yeah, any time we race on the West Coast or from Kansas west, I think it's a little bit of an extra incentive for our guys and a little extra pride. A lot of people from Denver here this weekend that I met and from Colorado in general. So that's pretty cool. Winning at Vegas is cool. I mean, it kind of feels like Bristol. I've met so many people this weekend that are from all over the country, so many people from Oregon and Washington and Colorado and other places, so it's definitely a cool destination race where a lot of people come to out of town to come here, and definitely a neat place to win, that's for sure.

Q. It's kind of a two‑part question. I was just curious, the Toyotas were okay at Atlanta, but you guys came this weekend and you guys were really strong out of the box. Was there anything that you learned in Atlanta that helped you guys transition and be better here, and do you think that the Toyota racing team as a whole will turn to you guys and see what they can do to improve the overall program of the Toyota teams heading into Phoenix and California?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I think honestly, we performed a little bit better at Atlanta than the results show. You know, the 20 ran third, I think, and we were going to be third, fourth, fifth maybe without the last caution, and obviously since we didn't have a clutch, we lost a bunch of spots on our last pit stop and ran eighth. A couple guys missed it, which are going to have‑‑ I think with this aero package, it seems like it's a little bit easier to miss it, and the balance seems to be a lot more sensitive, and when you do miss it, it seems like your speed is off more than what it was last year, so I think those are part of the things.
But I think, again, we've got good speed in our cars. It's just a matter of doing all the little things right, figuring out the balance, finding what the driver likes and all those things. We certainly learned some things in Atlanta that helped us this weekend. We all worked together really well. I'm sure guys will learn something from what we did this weekend, and honestly, we made some big changes for the race last night that really helped us, so we'll all look at that and share that and hopefully move the program forward.
But I feel good about where we're at, and definitely feel like the results have not shown how good we've been and how strong we've actually been so far.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297