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August 22, 2020

Martin Truex, Jr.

Dover, Delaware

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our second‑place finisher Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No.19 Sirius Toyota.
We'll start with questions.

Q. You said on the radio that was like a dirt car there late. Was it much looser on the last run than before?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I'd say it was a little bit. I think that last run was pretty long. That was about the longest run we've had pitting under green. Yeah, I would say that was about the loosest I'd been all day. Fighting the same thing on long runs. Just needed a little bit of clean air.
Really struggled once I got to the 10 car. He was running exactly where I wanted to run. Every time I tried to move up, he would move up in front of me. He was making it tough. Obviously the 11 came out of nowhere, having clean air between me and him.
I thought his car was in general better than ours all day. We were kind of struggling there. Surprised we were able to hold the lead as long as we did.

Q. Almirola, he's thinking if he can stay one lap down, the caution comes up, he can be back on the lead lap?

Q. Is that kosher to block you there or too late in the race, should let you go?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: When he's holding me up, the second‑place guy is catching me obviously, I'm sure he was getting that info. I was fine with him running where he wanted to run, which was pinned on the white line on the bottom. I had a problem with every time I'd try to move up, he would drive up the racetrack in front of me. Not cool to do to the leader when second is catching him. I think that's kind of shitty, to be honest.

Q. How did you feel like the 750 package handled? Pretty decent difference between this year and last year?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, it was way slicker, way slower. Obviously we've run this kind of package here before. It was similar I think to years past. The tire I felt like we had today was quite a bit different than what we've run here.
I definitely felt the tire lacked some grip. It was really slick. A lot of guys were loose, sliding around. I think we seen that earlier in the Xfinity race. I thought our race was similar, a lot of guys being pretty loose out there.

Q. For the Playoffs this year you have fewer Playoff points than recent years. Have you thought about that much at all?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, it's been on our mind lately with the regular season coming to a close. We're doing the best job we can do. Obviously we'd like to get some Playoff points. It's not like we haven't been trying. Just been right outside of getting them. Today we were second, second, third or something, or fourth, second, second.
I don't know. I think if we can run top two or three every race to the Playoffs, bonus points aren't going to matter. You always like to have them in case you have some trouble along the way.
Obviously we won't get any Mulligan's being low on Playoff points.

Q. You're running really well, the wins aren't there necessarily. Even though you aren't winning, do you feel lining you're replicating what you have done in years past performance‑wise?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I think we are. I think we're close. You got to be consistent. You got to be top two or three every week to consider yourself one of the guys that's going to make the final four. From that standpoint, yeah, we're right there.
I definitely think we can find a little bit more. We can definitely still be a little bit better. Certainly no practices has been a challenge. I think James has done a great job of dealing with that in his first year. The past I guess seven races we've been second or third every one of them. That's something to be proud of.
I feel like we've had the best car a few times along the way. Certainly today we didn't. We were right there. As long as we can keep doing what we're doing, the wins are going to come, no question.

Q. Six top threes in the last six races. Is it frustrating to be so close and not get the victories?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I mean, a little bit. I guess it really just depends on the race, to be honest. If you feel like you have the best car, you finish second or third, generally you're disappointed.
Like today, we finished second. We're pretty happy. I felt like we almost stole one, to be honest. I definitely felt the 11 car was better than us, were better all day long. To run second like that is a big challenge. It's something you're proud of. If we'd have had the best car and run second, I'd be pissed right now, wouldn't be in such a good mood.
Yeah, it was a good day overall. We'll keep swinging at it, keep chipping away at it.

Q. How do you think the choose cone worked in race number two?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: It was fine. Again, I don't think it changes the race in a huge way. I just think it gives you opportunities to make a decision to try to help yourself on restarts. I think it's all good.
I'm sure as long as they don't have any big issues with lineups and things, everyone is doing it right, I think we'll continue to do it. I thought it was fine.

Q. Did you like the shorter race today, coming back tomorrow? How do you like the doubleheaders?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I mean, it's been a huge deal for all of us. To think we took off two months of the season, with the Playoffs coming up in just two weeks, we've just about made up the whole schedule, two months worth of races.
I think it's been great to not have to extend the season and go further on into the winter. Just hats off to everyone. It's not easy, I don't think, to prepare cars and turn them around for two, three races a week, doubleheaders, all that. The teams have really done a good job, mine included. Really happy about it.
As drivers it's not that big a deal to run this many races in a row or doubleheaders. I think 311 is pretty long for here to do twice. All in all, feeling good about things. Should be fun.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Martin. Good luck tomorrow when we do this all over again.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Thanks, y'all. See you.

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