Martin Truex Jr. Wins Again as He Gears Up for NASCAR Chase Round of 12
Martin Truex Jr. seems to be in a big-time groove lately. After capturing the checkered flag in the first race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship a few weeks ago, he proved on Oct. 2 that his contention for this year’s Cup crown is serious.
Truex led an incredible 187 laps during Sunday’s Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover International Speedway in Delaware – considered Truex’s “home” track, given its proximity to the Mayetta section of Stafford Township, where he grew up – and easily snagged the checkered flag to win his second race in three Chase contests.
“We’re not messing around, I guess,” said Truex, who further solidified his position in the Chase’s Round of 12 after automatically gaining a spot following his victory in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 18. “We are here to get it done. I’m just ecstatic. It’s just unbelievable.”
After winning three of the last five races, including the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 4, he has cemented his position as the favorite to win the Chase, especially since the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 won earlier this season in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway – the location for the first race of the Round of 12 this weekend.
“This was a big, big win for us,” Truex said during a post-race interview. “I’ve been trying to win here again for a long time, and I’ve been close. I’ve had a lot of heartbreaks here at this racetrack, and today everything went the way we needed it to.
“I’ve got a great race team. We’ve worked hard to get here, and I’m living in the moment right now. I’m enjoying every single weekend, and we’re just taking it one race at a time.”
Interestingly, the next two races of the Chase will take place during the Bank of America 500 in Charlotte and the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kanas Speedway, where the Furniture Row team also fared well on May 7, when Truex led 172 laps in the Go Bowling 400. During the two races at Charlotte and Kansas three weeks apart, he led 564 of 667 laps.
“Obviously, those are two great racetracks for us, but that doesn’t guarantee us anything,” Truex said. “We’re not taking anything lightly. We’re preparing like we do every single weekend, and obviously we have a lot of confidence. But you never know what can happen. But we’re bringing our best to the racetrack each and every week.”
As part of the Round of 12, Truex will be up against Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch.
— David Biggy