Truex Rolls Into Charlotte Off Kansas Win

M.Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. won at Kansas Speedway and now, is ready to hoist the trophy and take home $1 million from Saturday’s All-Star Race. (Photo: Getty Images)

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CONCORD, N.C. - Martin Truex Jr. took home the checkered flag last Saturday night in the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway and now, is ready to hoist the trophy and take home $1 million from Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Truex has been on "Cloud 9" this week following his victory at Kansas - his first at a track where he's dominated in past years only to lose the chance to win late - and is heading to another mile-and-a-half oval at Charlotte, where he dominated and won last year’s Coca-Cola 600.

It’s safe to say that Truex is enjoying his time in the NASCAR spotlight.

"We're coming off a big win in Kansas that we’ve been chasing for quite a few years," Truex said. "I look forward to continuing that success and hopefully, having more exciting moments in the All-Star Race."

The All-Star Race has an added element this season. Goodyear has brought a secondary "option" tire that's softer and will produce faster speeds but in turn, see a higher fall-off in speed than the normal "primary" tires.

Truex thinks there may be a variety of strategies from teams on when to use the option tires but also says it comes down to circumstances.

"If you put them on (for the final segment), you start in the back," Truex explained. "Those who don’t put them on start at the front. It depends on who does and doesn’t use them. They only run three laps fast then they’re slower. It’s going to be based on driver feel, how your car accepts them and what kind of changes might go along with that."

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams got one set of option tires to run in Friday’s lone practice session at CMS. While speeds on the options were higher than the primary tires, fall-off over a longer run was measured at six to seven mph.

Truex says there’s not as much pressure during All-Star Weekend with no points on the line, but he's looking ahead to next Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 - a race that now has four stages instead of the normal three-stage format. That puts additional playoff and stage points on the line for drivers to pick up.

"Three stage wins and a race win would be incredible," Truex said. "Last year would have been nice to have those stage points in the playoffs when our engine blew up at Talladega. We haven’t forgotten about last year, how it all went down, how important those stage points are. It’s going to be big."

This week was also special for Truex off the racetrack. His Martin Truex Jr. Foundation hosted its annual Catwalk for a Cause on Wednesday night - an event to help raise money for Charlotte’s Levine Children’s Hospital.

The event features children who have been diagnosed with cancer, is attended by NASCAR industry members and this year, featured a performance by country music's Florida Georgia Line.

"I'm so proud of how far the Catwalk has come in eight years," Truex said. "The interest and excitement around that event each and every year keeps growing."

Between the success of Wednesday’s charity event and winning last week at Kansas, Truex is smiling and ready for what’s next.

"It’s a great situation," he said. "I’m not taking that for granted. I’m enjoying every moment and having fun with the team. We're just trying to keep the momentum going, keep working hard and see what's next."

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" will have live coverage of Saturday's Monster Energy All-Star Race, beginning at 5:30 p.m. (ET) - with live steaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.

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