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


July 8, 2017

Martin Truex, Jr.

Sparta, Kentucky

THE MODERATOR: We are here with the winner of tonight's Quaker State 400, and that's the driver of the No.78 Furniture Row Toyota for Furniture Row Racing, Martin Truex Jr. Martin swept today, both stages and the race. Again, 28 playoff points for you now, Martin.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: How about that.
THE MODERATOR: How about talking about the championship potential that lies in those bonus points?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, we knew coming into the season they were going to be important, so I think everybody's goal coming into this year was to try to get as many as possible. I think for us as a team, if you look at last year and the laps we led and the things we were able to do, we didn't win as many races as we should have, but we led a lot of laps, and I feel like we would have got a lot of stage points last year if they were available, but they weren't. So it kind of played into our wheelhouse a little bit, just kind of played into what we've been doing the last couple years.
Yeah, so it feels good to have those bonus points. We're going to try to get as many as we can. We know they're going to be important. We could have used a handful of them last year to get through Talladega, so we'll try to keep racking them up. Just proud of everybody for another great weekend and all they're doing, and glad we closed the deal tonight.

Q. When you're running around the track lapping the whole field, what's going through your mind? Are you singing Kumbaya to yourself? And can we get a PG version of what was said on the radio when that caution came out with two laps to go?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Honestly, all I said was, oh, man. There was no cursing involved. I wasn't that upset because I kind of seen it coming. I kind of knew‑‑ like 60 to go, I was leading, pretty big lead at that point, and I was like, there's no possible way that this race is actually going to go this long without a caution, and lo and behold, we came within a third of the racetrack from the white flag. I was literally coming down the backstretch thinking I'm coming to the white flag, I'm coming to the white flag, and literally I could smell somebody's engine blowing up, and I'm like, this isn't good. And then as I was coming towards Turn 3 I seen some smoke, and my spotter said caution is out for someone blowing up, and I was like, oh, man. Oh, boy, here we go. Cole, what are we going to do? And he's like, ahh, we've got to stay out, so we stayed out. And then I was like, oh man, everybody pitted, we're going to be fine, don't worry, we're going to be fine. That was really the whole entire caution right there. There's all the insider info.

Q. What would have been more impressive to you, what you did at the Coke 600 or if you had won by 15 seconds tonight?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, the Coke 600 is something that‑‑ that's kind of‑‑ that's history. Nobody has ever done that before, so that was something that was really crazy, and just to even think about it today, that's crazy we did that. I think that stands out there by itself, and in a different way, this is very, very big to be able to do what we did tonight. I think this was probably the best car I've ever had in my entire career. I can never recall saving fuel and pulling away from everybody before, so it was pretty amazing. Just props to my team and everything they're doing, and everything is going good for us right now, so we'll just try to keep that momentum rolling.

Q. Martin, Kyle Larson gave you a good kick in the tail on that final restart. Do you make that pass of the 18 without that shot?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I really don't know. It was definitely a big part of that. It was a big help. I was really hoping that that would happen because honestly all night I had trouble getting a good launch, and any time me and Kyle were side by side, he could literally pull away from me by a car length getting to the start‑finish line. I wasn't spinning tires or anything, just couldn't get going, just kind of bogged down. I was a little worried about that. I was trying to do the best I could to make sure I kept Larson‑‑ or I helped Larson get to my bumper before the start‑finish line, not after it, because obviously after the start‑finish line he could have pulled out and made it three wide, but he did a beautiful job. He slammed me in the back, and as soon as I did, I hit the gas, and away we went. It definitely helped a ton.
But I was surprised that once we got clear down into Turn 1 that I could actually pull away from those guys. I thought I was going to have my hands full trying to hold them off, even if we did get to Turn 1 with the lead, but fortunately we were able to hold them off, so that was pretty awesome.

Q. Cole called that car the Demon. Do you get superstitious about cars, and do you want it back?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I have no idea where we even ran that car last, so I just show up and get in them. Honestly, the cars nowadays, you can sit in 10 of them, 10 different ones 10 weeks in a row. You cannot tell the difference literally. Those guys are so good at building them. I think literally the only thing I do anymore is move my mirror because it's never in the right spot for whatever reason. Literally every weekend it's in a different spot, but everything else is perfect, seatbelt, seat, steering wheel, you name it. The gas pedal is the same. The brakes are the same. Everything about these things feels the same, so yeah, I don't even know what car this was or where we'd run it before.

Q. When Cole was in here he was talking about there are many days in Colorado where he feels the team is hanging on by a thread because you guys give up a day based out there. Are you in Denver enough to know what the team is going through back there, and whether you see it or not, how do they do it?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: No, I don't really see it because I don't get there very often, but I hear about it. Cole tells me. Cole and I talk all the time and we text back and forth about, hey, what's going on, what are you up to, how's things, and how did last week go, what are we working on, we constantly keep in touch about things. But he tells me when things are kind of crazy and when things are going crazy. But we have a great bunch. I mean, I can't tell you how good our guys are at just making sure they do all the things right. I mean, I think our guys are just‑‑ they work so hard. They make sure they put in all the effort to get everything just as perfect as Cole wants it. They're perfectionists really. I think sometimes Cole makes them burn a little midnight oil to get the cars where he wants them, to get things the way he likes it, and sometimes they work a little more than they expected to, but they all do a great job, and they're willing to put in the hours, and right now it's showing up. I appreciate all of them. They do an amazing job. It's pretty awesome to see, and it's definitely cool doing it in Denver out there all by ourselves.
I think our truck leaves probably a day or two before everybody else's most times. Short turnarounds. They have to work hard, work long nights, and hard work pays off.

Q. Brad Keselowski had very strong and stern words about the car design. Do you think it's time to go to Gen 7?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Out of where, because he got crashed tonight?

Q. Basically, yes.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I mean, he's on the driver's council. He's a big part of the lower downforce and he's a big part of the direction everybody is going. So yeah, he was probably just mad because he got wrecked.

Q. Martin, Barney was in here a little while ago, and he said that he felt like you were peaking right now as far as your driving career, and last year he thought you were as good as anybody but now he thinks that you're better. What does that mean to you to have an owner that believes in you so much like Barney Visser and your relationship with him?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: It means a ton to me, honestly. Barney has been an awesome owner. He's been great to work for. Back in 2014, we were running awful. We could barely run 20th, and I think our best runs of the year were maybe top 10s. You know, Sherry got sick and was battling cancer, and he said, if you need to stay home a couple weeks and take care of her, this car will be here when you get back. He didn't ever skip a beat. He said, we're here for you, this is your team. You're going to drive this car. That meant a lot to me, and not long after that, we got things turned around.
I'm sure that was part of it, just that belief that he had in me, that thought in the back of my mind that, man, this guy is really‑‑ this is a really awesome guy. I'm really lucky to be working for him, and I'm going to make sure I do all I can to get this team going in the right direction.
He gives our guys all they need, all the tools, all the things they need to make these cars fast, and he gives them a great work environment in Denver. He takes care of them all like family, and we're all lucky to drive his‑‑ I'm lucky to drive his race car, but we're all lucky to work for such a great guy that takes care of his employees and enjoys racing as much as he does.

Q. Obviously you don't want the caution with just a couple laps to go, but how much do you think that impacts NASCAR in terms of the fan base, keeping fans engaged, having that exciting restart to end things?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, in this case there was no debris, so it was legit, there was oil all over the place. So let's not even talk about it.
I was really happy that they waited that long. I was‑‑ honestly, somewhat I was a little bit surprised that there wasn't a caution somewhere in there. But definitely good to see that. There was a race a couple weeks ago where it went long, and it went on a long green‑flag run there, and I guess it was Sonoma. I was happy to see them let the race play out even though Harvick had a huge lead because we blew up. It was cool just to see the race play out. We've seen guys pit for tires that were running up front and everybody thought they were going to finish 20th and they came back and finished up front. Sometimes you let the races play out and things happen that you didn't expect, and it's kind of neat to see. Tonight there was oil out there.

Q. You said when the caution came out you asked Cole, what do we do now, and he responded, we stay out. Was that an immediate response, or did he have to think about it a minute?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Sounded to me like he didn't have to think about it. I mean, basically said I can't see anybody pitting here, so when he said that, I knew we were staying out. And typically when you're the leader and you've dominated a race and you decide to do something, everybody else is going to do the opposite. So I felt okay about the position we were in. I was a little nervous about it just because we hadn't had a restart on that old of tires all night long, but I did try my best to really kind of manage my tires that last run for probably the last 40 laps or so, just thinking, okay, there's probably at some point going to be a restart, a caution for whatever reason, and we're not going to want to pit because guys we know will stay out if we pit. So I kind of tried towards the end, last 40 or 50 laps, to try to just not abuse my car, not hurt my tires in case we had to have a restart, and obviously we did, and fortunately it worked out for us.

Q. It seems like every week it's you and Kyle Larson, halfway point in the race and then at the end contending for the win and even in the points standings. Do you think he's your biggest competition heading into the playoffs?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, he's definitely going to be great competition. He's a very talented driver. He's got a great team right now. He still hasn't thanked me for making Chad Johnston a crew chief in the Sprint Cup Series. He was my crew chief at MWR a couple years ago. Awesome guy, very good friend of mine, and he's my neighbor now, as well, so I talk to him a lot. But I think Chad has just brought a lot to the table for that team for Kyle, and now Kyle is able to show his talent, so I'm really happy for those guys, happy for Chad especially, but it's been fun to race with Kyle. Obviously he's very talented. He's up front every single week. He's fast everywhere we go. I expect he'll be a challenge throughout the rest of the year. It should be fun to race with him.

Q. I don't know how much you're comfortable in telling us yet, but Sherry tweeted that she had a procedure this week for a recurrence. Can you say when did you find out about it and what's kind of the prognosis?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: We found out a while ago about it. Tonight was‑‑ she went in this weekend to have some surgery done. Everything went perfectly good, went as planned. I'm going to bring her home tomorrow. Excited to get home and see her, and everything is going great.

Q. Did you talk to her?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Oh, yeah. As soon as I got out of the car, I had one of my guys call her. She was pretty excited.

Q. I don't think you would argue that you are enjoying the best years of your NASCAR career; what does that say sort of? There's a lot of talk about young guys and stuff and people with talent and money and so forth, but how important is it to be in the right situation, and how much does that really matter when it comes to deciding what your career is going to look like?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Being in the right situation is a huge part of it. I mean, we've seen it forever for a long time. It's a lot about communication, it's about getting with the right group of people. You can have all the money in the world and all the best equipment and parts and pieces, and if you don't have the right guys together and the right driver together with all those guys, it's not going to be successful. I'm very lucky to be in the position I'm in. I've been on the other side of it. Hell, five years ago, I thought my career was over, and so you just‑‑ you fight hard to try to get in a good position. I've been fortunate to have an awesome bunch of people around me from top to bottom, and you know, honestly, this team I'm with now, it was my only option at one point, and I thought, oh, man, we'll see what we can do with it, and here we are, so sometimes it's just meant to be, and in this case it was. But it's everything. Without the right team, without the right people around you, it's hard to be successful, so I'm very thankful for the guys I have and what we have going on right now.

Q. You were really fast here last year, and it sort of got away. Was that motivating? Did you draw confidence from that? And did that carry over at all?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I think it carried over because if you look at it, they repaved the track again, so it was similar to last year. Tire was a little different, but same rules package more or less, and we were really fast last year, felt good about that, and obviously we've had a whole year now to work on these race cars with this package and kind of figure them out, and I feel like this kind of racetrack kind of suits us. We felt good coming in, and we definitely remembered last year, the one that got away on fuel mileage, so it was a little bit of motivation. But I think every time we come to the racetrack, we want to win. We don't show up to run second, we show up to win and do the best job we can, and I feel like these days, especially this year, that every week we do show up, we're capable of it. So that's fun. I can't tell you how excited I am to go to the racetrack each and every weekend just to see what we have, see the guys, see what they've been working on and try to put it all together. Glad tonight we were able to do that.

Q. You brought up MWR and I was going to follow up with five years ago we talked to you and you were probably at one of the lowest points in your career, you were bummed out and didn't know what you were going to do. Now this meteoric rise to where you're at, last year you almost made the final round. What would it mean for you to win here, to win the championship, and see where that has taken you from the lowest low to the highest high?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, professionally it would mean everything. That's what I've worked my whole career for in racing is to be a champion, be a Monster Energy Series champion. It would mean a lot. It would be very rewarding. I would say that it wouldn't change me, wouldn't change who I am or it wouldn't really change my life, but it would be a hell of an accomplishment for my career.
We're going to try our best. I feel like we have a good shot at it. We've consistently been a frontrunner the last couple years, and hopefully that continues. We'll do our best.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Martin.

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