Truex Eyes More Success in Texas
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on April 7, 2017 | 9:54 A.M. EST
Martin Truex Jr. carries a strong record of success at Texas Motor Speedway into Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. (Photo: Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr. carries a strong record of success at Texas Motor Speedway into Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
The Furniture Row Racing driver has finished in the top 10 the last four trips to the 1.5-mile oval with an average finish of 6.5. Truex’s last four finishes at Texas are ninth and eighth in 2015, and sixth and third in 2016.
"I like the track and feel comfortable running there," he said. "The repave could go either way for us, but I also feel comfortable with Cole (crew chief Cole Pearn) and his engineers to figure out whatever issues we may encounter."
In last year’s race, Truex looked as if he’d make the trip to Victory Lane - leading 141 laps in a dominating performance that went sour in the closing stages. A decision not to pit for fresh tires on a late caution cost Truex a chance to win and he gave up the lead with only 34 laps remaining.
Today, Truex is tackling a brand new Texas racing surface after an off-season repaving and reconfiguration.
"That'll throw some new wrinkles into the setup of the car, but our program on intermediate tracks is as strong as anyone's," Truex said. "We should have won at Texas in last year’s spring race and we also had a contending car in the fall. You have to race smart, take care of your equipment and have a little luck."
So far in 2017, Truex is off to a solid start. He has a win, two top fives and three top-10 finishes. He’s won four stages and has gathered nine playoff points.
"We've shined on intermediate-sized tracks so far this season," Truex said, "eighth in Atlanta and we won in Las Vegas. I don’t see any reason why it won’t continue this weekend in Texas."