Toyota Racing – Martin Truex Jr.
NASCAR Cup Series Quotes
MARTINSVILLE, Virginia (October 30, 2020) – Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. was made available to media via videoconference in advance of the race at the Martinsville Speedway:
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Auto Owners Insurance Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How much confidence do you have going into Martinsville this weekend?
“It definitely gives us confidence. Any time we are going into a track where we have had past success, it’s good. We’ve got notes to work off of from the spring race. It’s been good to us lately, but anything can happen at a short track. Just trying to be as prepared as we can, I think. The guys are ready, and we are going to do the best job we can and hopefully continue the success we have had there.”
Going into the final turn in second, what do you do?
“Hopefully, I will be leading so I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t know. I’m just going to drive and see how it all plays out. I’m not planning for anything right now, just have to see what happens.”
Did you feel less prepared with the lack of practice in the earlier race this season at Martinsville?
“Definitely less prepared this year, especially with no practice, but going back last year when we won, we had the high downforce package and this year when we won, we had low downforce. We hadn’t run that package in over a year and really that setup, we hadn’t run with the low downforce package. I definitely felt unprepared a little bit. We were obviously pleasantly surprised that what we had worked. Hopefully, we will be able to expand on that and make some improvements. I think that everybody is probably going to make some improvements from the spring just because the facts I just mentioned. We’ve got to find a way to get better and hopefully, we will be able to do that.”
Is there more of a challenge to make improvements when you won the last race at the track?
“It’s always a challenge to make improvements no matter the situation, really. When you don’t have practice, you use all the tools at your disposal and try to make the right decisions. Concrete tracks like Martinsville are really tricky. Just the outside temperature and the way that the rubber lays down there can make such a huge difference that it’s a little bit hard to get it perfect. Hopefully, we will make the right decisions. I know we’ve got some good notes to go off of, like I said, but it’s going to probably be a lot colder this time around so things will be different for sure.”
You don’t seem like a guys that gets stressed out. I’m curious, is this fun for you or is the position you are in kind of aggravating?
“Not aggravating at all. I think it’s a big opportunity to get where we want to go this weekend. Obviously, you hate that is comes down to one race after what I feel like is a pretty strong season. We’ve just been second and third so many times that we needed to win more races, obviously. I knew early on coming into the Playoffs it was going to be tough without a lot of bonus points, so that’s kind of been the toughest part of it. We’ve performed well. We’ve scored a lot of points in the Playoffs, but when the reset the rounds we are so far behind the eight-ball we haven’t been able to catch up. Obviously, the points penalty this past weekend hurt as well. We’d be in somewhat of a decent position this weekend, I guess, without that. That being said it’s a huge opportunity. It’s a good track for us. It’s a track I enjoy, so we will go there and give it our all and hope that it’s enough.”
Do you like these one-day shows?
“They are great during hunting season. Yes and no. I really enjoy it. I like having some more time at home to do fun things and hobbies and things like that. It’s been a little bit easier on the crew guys, I guess. Especially not having the backup car. Those guys have a little more time at home with their families as well, which is good. I do miss having practice. I definitely feel like – I really, really feel like we would have won a couple more races this year if we would have had practice. Everybody is in the same boat there, though. I don’t mind it. I think the one-day shows are fine. It’s nice to knock them out in a quick matter.”
Now that you have had a few days past Texas, did you find out what happened?
“No. I haven’t found out, and honestly, I haven’t even asked. It’s over and done with. Move on and deal with it.”
How do you view the feedback you see on social media?
“Yeah, it’s fine. It is what it is. No matter who it is or what you say people are going to jump on you. That’s Twitter. That’s the way it works.”
Martinsville has been the site of many Playoff moments, even though it wasn’t a cutoff race. Do you expect the same this weekend?
“I think that it’s definitely going to ramp things up a bit especially when you come down to the end. Guys in a situation like I’m in, it has the potential to get pretty crazy. It’s really hard to prepare for those things. You just have to go race and live in the moment and try to make the best decision possible and do whatever it takes to get where you want to go. I’m not going to sit here and say I’m going to do X or Y, I’m going to run over this person or that person because that’s not really the way I do things. It’s funny I think I hear more people giving me a hard time for complaining about lap cars not giving way to the leaders when they are racing for a win than I do how I race people. That’s kind of silly but I’m just going to go race, do my thing and hopefully, we will be in position to win the thing.”
How do you feel about the shortened turnaround time to Martinsville?
“I don’t think it really changes a whole lot to be honest. I think probably for the most part everybody has been working on their cars for a few weeks and have been rather prepared. I think we’ve got a little bit of taste of midweek races earlier in the year, so it’s really no different than that. It wasn’t much fun to sit around there at Texas for a couple of days in the rain not doing anything but aside from that it really doesn’t change anything.”
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