DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 12, 2014) – The last time Martin Truex Jr. competed at Michigan International Speedway it was both a short and long day for the Furniture Row Racing driver.
Truex’s No. 78 Chevrolet got caught up in an accident on Lap 8 of 200 at the Michigan June race. The wreck caused him to fall three laps down with a heavily damaged race car.
Thanks to a talented crew, who constantly made repairs to the car, Truex managed to lumber through the turns at the 2-mile oval and complete the 400-mile race, taking the checkered flag in 37th place.
“Getting wrecked early and then driving the entire race at the rear of the field made for a very, very long day,” recalled Truex. “It was another one of those weekends to forget. The worst part about what happened is that we basically didn’t learn anything for the second go at Michigan.”
Truex and the single-car Furniture Row team out of Denver, Colorado are looking to find the right mix for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race.
Though Truex feels the potential is there for a successful race, the one big concern is the track surface, which was repaved for the 2012 season.
“Because of the newer pavement at Michigan the asphalt is so much smoother,” noted Truex, who is coming off a 13th-place finish at Watkins Glen. “There are no rocks and pores in it. That makes it hard to lay rubber down on these newly paved tracks, which also makes it hard for the second groove to come in. The Michigan track is not as bad as last year with the groove getting a little bit wider. You now have a little wiggle room there.”
With four races remaining before the 10-race Chase playoffs begin, Truex knows what needs to be done.
“We need to win one of the next four races, it’s as simple as that,” said Truex. “If we want to make the Chase and compete with the big dogs then we have to find our way to Victory Lane.”
Truex came close twice to winning at Michigan, scoring runner-up finishes at both races in 2007.
“Having more speed and staying out of trouble are the first steps in being a factor for the win,” explained the 34-year-old Truex. “Catching a couple of breaks will always help too.”