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October 28, 2020

Martin Truex, Jr.

Fort Worth, Texas

THE MODERATOR: We'll get right into questions for our second‑place finisher.

Q. Martin, you go into Martinsville, probably in a must‑win position. Out of all the tracks out there, is that a track where you feel most confident considering you've won the last two races there in pretty dominant fashion?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yes and no. I mean, a must‑win at any track, no matter how good you've been there in the past, I think is a challenge. The last race there that we ran and delete all the laps that we did, whatever, it's no guarantee. We've got to work hard this week to make sure we're prepared. I know the guys have already been doing that. So definitely optimistic. It's a good track for us, but it's a short track and a lot can happen on restarts and things.
We'll go there and do the best job we can.

Q. Martin, long week, obviously; when you started on Sunday, did you feel that the car had this top‑3 speed when you started the race, and how much different was it when you came back today?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I definitely did. I had a lot of confidence in it, in the 50 whatever laps we ran there on Sunday. We had to start at the rear and quickly worked our way up through the field, and definitely had a good feeling for the car balance‑wise and speed‑wise and felt like the longer we were going there, the better it was getting.
Definitely was optimistic, and today we had to make some adjustments, obviously, with it being colder and then racing into the night, we were adjusting on the car the whole race, but guys did a good job, and obviously had a good car. Just seems like been second and third a lot this year, which is a little bit frustrating, but obviously a great job by everyone, and you can't complain about second, it's just a shame that we're in the position we are where we have to win. A second place finish kind of gets overshadowed by not winning, and that's unfortunate for our team and everybody involved in our team because they did a great job and worked really hard.
I felt like we had pretty much a flawless race. Just needed a tiny little bit more speed or a little bit more luck out there at the end with the 18 and fuel‑wise.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the battle with the 95; when you saw him coming did you feel that you were going to be able to hold him off?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I felt like I could hold him off. I really hadn't seen him all day so I wasn't sure how quick he was. I knew he was fast when he was running us down, but I didn't have anyone in front of me to draft off of for a long period of time when he was catching us. When he did catch us, we picked up a little bit of speed by having that air from him behind us kind of pushing us down the straight. We were just in a bad spot there out there all by ourselves, running wide open and not getting any drafting help to put down good laps.

Q. The weekend did not start off the way you guys wanted it to, but how proud are you of the resiliency of the squad and the job Blake did on top of the pit box this week?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, very proud, obviously, but not surprised. I think we have a strong team with a lot of depth. We've got guys that have been together for a long time, through back in the 78 days on most of them. Not surprised but definitely proud. Happy for Blake. I knew he would do a good job. He's such a hard‑working guy and he's been an amazing car chief for us for years, and he does an amazing job.
It's really cool to get him on the box today. This is his home state of Texas. We really wanted to get him that win. I was hoping ‑‑ I joked with him, hopefully you're a good luck charm here at Texas because we've been second here before and we've been so close here so many times. A little bit disappointed in that, but proud of him and proud of the whole team for their effort.

Q. Can you kind of describe what your feelings were on Sunday after they took the spoiler? Were you upset? Was it just one of those things, and did you feel like it made a difference at all in the race?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I think it made a difference. We ran second, led some laps, ran second all day. We were just a little bit off on speed from the 18 I felt like.
Did it make a difference? No. My guess is that it was something very, very minuscule from what James said, but I really don't know what it was, whether it would have made a difference or not. I can't tell you. I think for me I just go to the race and say, okay, we're behind the 8‑ball and you've got to do what you can do to try to win, and that's what we did.
I think when things like that happen for me, I just brush them aside and go do my job the best I can do. That's all you can do. No sense in getting mad or angry or down and let it affect your race. You go out there and put on your helmet and do your job, and that's what we did today, and unfortunately it wasn't quite good enough.

Q. I know you want to win, but do you feel okay with second or considering the points position is second the same as 10th, the same as 20th, the same as 30th?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: No, I don't see it the same as 20th or 30th. To run second all day long and lead some laps is tough to do. You've got to put yourself in position in the top two or three to win races, and so we were right there. If we'd gone‑‑ if it was one more lap, the 18 was probably going to run out of gas, so it just was one of those things where we were‑‑ how close can you get without winning. I'm proud of the effort. Obviously I wish we could have won and we came here to win, but to finish second and say that it may as well be 20th is just ridiculous.
I'm really proud of the team with the loss of a crew chief to be able to pull that off and not have any hiccups, great strategy and have great communication and all that stuff, that was awesome. We just came up a little bit short, but I'm proud of it.

Q. Sherry's unveiling her special wing at Novant next week, and I was hoping you could talk a little bit about that before you go, please.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: She was there on Monday ‑‑ Tuesday, I'm sorry, yesterday, and did the ribbon cutting. I don't know if it was open to‑‑ I don't know what it is exactly what you're talking about, that it's maybe opening to the public, but she got to go in there and tour it yesterday and her doctors surprised her and met her there, and she got to tour the whole thing, so I know she was really excited. She was sending me a lot of pictures. I know it's really, really near and dear to her heart, obviously, and she's put a ton of work and effort into it, and all the people that have donated and supported our foundation for so many years are a huge part of this, so I was really proud of her. I wish I could have been there with her yesterday.
But to see the magnitude of the things that we've been able to do and the difference that we've been able to make and especially her with ovarian cancer and how close it is, just how special it is to her or close to home, obviously, to see that and to see the hospital in the pictures and her doctors there surprising her and how proud everybody is of that place and the impact it's going to make on people in Charlotte is amazing. We're very blessed, we're very lucky to get to do it, and obviously very proud of her and can't wait to go see it.
THE MODERATOR: Martin, thank you so much for taking the time to join us today. Congratulations on that finish, and we'll see you at Martinsville.

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