Truex Jr. Aiming for More Kansas Magic in Critical Playoff Race

DENVER, Colo. (Oct. 17, 2018) – Martin Truex Jr.’s last two finishes have been somewhat concerning for the Furniture Row Racing driver, who finds himself in the perilous eighth-place bubble position for advancing to the next playoff round.

After having solid performances in the first round of the playoffs with third-place results in Las Vegas and Richmond and a near win at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s road course, Truex has not had any satisfaction in the second round (Round of 12) with finishes of 15th at Dover and 23rd at Talladega.

With the NASCAR Cup Series heading to Kansas Speedway for the third and final race in the Round of 12, Truex, who is ranked eighth in the playoff standings, will take an 18-point cushion to the 1.5-mile track.

“There are a number of scenarios for the remaining six transfer spots,” said Truex, who will drive the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota in Kansas. “From our standpoint it’s very simple. We can’t worry about others, just need to focus on our program and go out and do it ourselves. Kansas has been a great track for us and we just need to continue what we’ve been doing there the past few years. But this is racing and anything can happen as we saw in Talladega.”

While the anxiety level will skew a little higher at Kansas, Truex couldn’t be going to a better venue to remain above the cutline for the playoff transfer spot. In his last three starts at Kansas, Truex swept both races in 2017 and was runner-up in this year’s spring race.

“As far as why we’ve been good there (at Kansas) over the years, I’m not sure,” Truex said. “It’s a place where I really feel comfortable. Have had chances to win multiple races there over the years with different teams even. It was one of the places I was successful at before Furniture Row so for whatever reason it just points towards my driving style and my comfort level, what I like in my race car and it just seems to work out well there.”

Truex’s career record at Kansas includes 20 starts, two wins, seven top fives, eight top 10s, two poles and 726 laps led. His average starting position is 10.4 and average finish 14.4.

No. 78 Over-the-Wall Crew, 2018
Front-tire changer

Clay Robinson, Simi Valley, Calif.

Front-tire carrier

Josh Shipplett, Winder, Ga.

Rear-tire changer

Lee Cunningham, Lake River, IL

Jack Man

Eric Groen, Sioux Center, Iowa


Brian Dheel, Norton, Ohio

Pit Crew Support

Adam Mosher, Fort Mill, S.C.

No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Road Crew, 2018

Joe Garone, Denver, Colo.

Crew Chief

Cole Pearn, London, Ontario, Canada

Car Chief

Blake Harris, Maypearl, Texas

Ass’t Car Chief

Gary Frost, Romeo, Mich.

Race Engineers

Jeff Curtis, Fairfax Station, Va.
Pete Craik, Melbourne, Australia

Technical Director

James Small, Melbourne, Australia

Engine Tuner

Gregg Huls, Beatrice, Neb.

Engine Builder

Toyota Racing Development (TRD)


Clayton Hughes, Thomasville, N.C.

Shock Specialist

Nick Kerlin, Old Fort, Ohio

Tire Specialist

Tommy DiBlasi, Annapolis, Md.

Front-End Mechanic

Nino Venezia, Philadelphia

Rear-End Mechanic

Rob Fairweather, Westbrookville, N.Y.

IT Support

Eric Cragun, Pleasant View, Utah


Chuck Lemay, DeKalb, IL, Roy Miller, Elkridge, Md., Jon Adkins,
Hickory, N.C., Jason Taggart, Rutland, Vt.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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