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August 9, 2020

Martin Truex, Jr.

Brooklyn, Michigan

THE MODERATOR: Good to see you, Martin. Kind of seems like Michigan is a trend for you. Walk us through today's race. Any different than yesterday?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, you know, quite a bit different. I think when we talked yesterday after running third, feeling like our car was really strong all day, we went and messed it up. We tried a few things, tried to get better. Clearly was worse.
At the start of the race we were pretty far off. Had to, much like yesterday, really battle all day long. Towards the first two stages, we were pretty far off. Kept making adjustments. James and the guys did a good job of doing that. Was able to work our way up through there on restarts, ultimately have a shot there.
Running second after the restart, started getting really tight. Just really chased the balance of the car all day long. Never could get it where we needed it.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open up the floor to the media for questions for Martin.

Q. Fourth straight third‑place finish for you. Where do you feel like you stack up with the final four type picture right now? Do you feel you have a shot, or you need something else?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: No, I think we have a shot, for sure. I think we're right there. I feel like today and yesterday both, all the stuff we had to overcome to be able to get back up front shows that we have a strong team and we're doing the right things.
It's just tough. We definitely need a little more speed on a few certain tracks. The mile‑and‑a‑half's I feel like we've been probably the strongest car. Texas. Kentucky for sure I thought we had the car to beat. Kansas was right there, as well. I think we're right there.
The final four, it's not even worth talking about till you make it there, you know what I mean? We've dominated seasons in the past and lost the championship in the final races, as well. It's not as easy as just being the best team, approaching the Playoffs with the most momentum.
There's a lot to be said about Playoff points. We definitely don't have near as many as we would like to have or are used to having. Our goal for the next couple races is obviously going to be to try to get some more of those.

Q. Two, three, four finish for JGR today. Obviously Denny has had a fantastic season. You've been consistent the last couple weeks. How significant of a weekend is this for the team overall when you have Kyle running well here this weekend? Anything transfer from Michigan moving forward?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I'm going to say probably not just because I feel like this track is really, really unique. The one takeaway is we have strong race teams, strong racecars. We're all pretty well‑rounded as far as being able to run good everywhere.
Yeah, I think momentum is important. For us to be consistently running in the top three is, again, what it's all about. Our plan is to try to do what we did last year: put three or four of us in the final four, see if we can go race for it.

Q. Was there a difference with the traction compound today? Did it wear out more today? Did that affect lane choices at all?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I felt like it maybe had a little bit less grip than yesterday. I knew they tried to get it reapplied last night, do some more work to it. I think they did at least. I know they took some measurements, checked the grip level. It was down from yesterday. I kind of felt like it was that, that was the case as well. Felt like the track in general was maybe a little bit slicker today with the ARCA race, then just being a little bit hotter today.

Q. You've been one of the top road course drivers in recent years. We're going to something entirely different with Daytona. Do you feel your road course prowess will transition?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: That's a good question. I'm not really sure. I've only been on that track once. It was back in I think '04 when I ran the IROC series, we raced there. I didn't do very good. I wasn't very good at it then. Obviously those cars are quite a bit different than what we have.
We'll see. We've got a lot of work this week to prepare, try to figure it out. I know iRacing has the track, so get on there, get familiarized, hopefully be able to learn a little bit from that.
Hopefully the team will prepare a great car. I know they'll prepare a great car. Hopefully we can have a car that drives the way I need it to. That's really the key.
I enjoy road courses. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be wild, for sure. A lot of question marks. Should be fun, as well.

Q. Last few years you've had four or five wins by the time we get to the Playoffs. Four races left. You're locked in. Is it a different feeling this year without the Playoff point advantage?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I mean, it's a lot less comfortable, especially as you get through the rounds without having those points to fall back on. Again, we'll have to wait and see. 2015 we only won one race all season, found our way to the final four by being consistent.
What I like about what we've done lately is be consistent. We've had cars capable of winning four, five, six races this year. Things just haven't worked out for us. We've made some small mistakes here and there as well. Just try to clean that stuff up, continue to find little things to make us more competitive.
Again, I feel like we're strong. I feel like we're right there. This sport is tough. There's a lot of good competition out there. We got to get better and we're working hard to do it.

Q. You've had years like Kevin where you're running up front all the time, winning races. What is that like? What's he feeling right now?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: He's very happy, I can tell you that. All of us growing up, working, racing towards the goal of doing just that: being one of the guys that's winning races, winning championships. He's the envy of the garage right now because of having the most wins. That's really the reality of it.
Generally after most races there's only one guy happy. I would say on most weeks he's probably the happiest out of the whole bunch right now because he's won the most races.
It's a hell of a feeling. It's hard to explain. It's hard to keep doing it, back it up obviously. But they've done a great job this year. They have a great team as well. Hopefully we can close the gap here shortly.
THE MODERATOR: Martin, we'll let you go. Congratulations. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next week.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Sounds good. See you guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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