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Toyota Racing – NCS LA Clash Quotes – Martin Truex Jr. – 02.01.22

Toyota Racing – Martin Truex Jr.
NASCAR Cup Series Quotes

LOS ANGELES (February 1, 2022) – Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. was made available to media via videoconference prior to the LA Clash event today:

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What are you expecting out of this race in LA?
“Really not sure. Thinking about it, I’m not sure I’ve raced a stock car on a track this small, and obviously we’ve never raced the Next Gen car so it’s going to be interesting. The cool thing is it’s going to be a lot of fun to do something fun and there is a lot of excitement around it as well. I think everybody is anxious to get out there – get on track – and see what we can do and hopefully it turns into a fun event for the drivers. I’ll enjoy it, and usually when I enjoy it, we run well. I’m excited about it, and it should be good.”

Do you have an opinion on what you think it would take to call this race successful?

“Not really. I don’t know that – I guess it just depends. It sounds like the crowd is going to be good and there is a lot of attention on it. At the end of the day, we want to put on a good show. We don’t want there to be a lot of cautions and wrecks, not a lot of chaos, just a good race to put on a good show with all the attention it’s getting and make it a successful event. I think there is a lot of excitement around it like I said and a lot of things different with the concert and the halftime break and all of the things that are going on. Racing in a new part of the country, I think a lot of new fans will be tuning in and I think we need to put on a good show.”

Do you typically start a season with more anticipation or more apprehension and has that changed at all this year?

“I think in general I always look forward to a new year and seeing what you can do – another chance at doing some good things and winning some races, hopefully, and reaching the ultimate goal. I’m always looking forward to it. This year, obviously, more question marks than ever, which is a little bit different, but we’ve been in situations like this where a lot of things are changing, and you don’t really know. You just try to prepare the best you can. I obviously have a great team and a lot of good people around me, and I try to take advantage of those people the best that I can and that usually works out. I look forward to it and just being open minded and take them as they come.”

When do you think you will have a read on this car?

“I think it’s going to take a while. Typically, we go through the West Coast swing and Atlanta and Daytona and you kind of have some kind of an idea of where you are or get kind of a good feel on how things are going to be. I think this year is going to be way different – I think it’s going to take a while longer. We’ve never had anything change as much as we have with the car this year. It’s going to take us quite a while to figure out where we are at, to learn about this car, to understand how to make it work on different types of racetracks and I think that’s going to go on for a while. Things are going to change very rapidly through the first half of the year. It’s going to take a while to really feel comfortable where you are or understand things to the extent we have in the past.”

Is the Clash something that you are going to have to battle the desire to win with knowing this race is built for entertainment?

“Hopefully not. I guess there is the potential for that for sure. Especially if you are at the front with some guys that you’ve raced with before, I think there will be a decent level of respect and guys trying to it kind of the right way. We’ll see. It could turn into a crash fest, which I would hate to see. I don’t know. I really don’t have high expectations for either way. I think we are just going to go there and race and see what happens. I just think at a broader look at everything, and what the race is and what attention is getting, I hope that things go – I hope it’s exciting – but I hope it’s not just everybody crashing into one another all day. I really don’t know. I don’t have any expectations either way. I’m just going to go there and race and try to have fun with it.”

What are your thoughts on Blake Harris (former Truex car chief) getting his shot to be a crew chief?

“We’re all really proud of him. We hated to let him go and do that, but to see his passion for what he’s done over the years – his passion for racing and trying to be great – he was obviously a huge part of our team and a huge part of all of our success. We’re really going to miss him, but we’re proud of him and we know that he’s going to do a great job over there. You never know what’s down the road – if we get back together or what not. I’m just happy for him, but I hope he has the opportunity that he’s hoping it’s going to be.”

What is your perspective on a lot of the recent changes with NASCAR that are focused on bringing the pack closer together, which may induce more contact?

“We will just have to wait and see. The Clash, the smaller the tracks get, things like that obviously make it more difficult. We still race at a lot of different style of racetracks where you are going to have to take care of your equipment, for the last of a better term, not beating the body off the things. Certainly, they are going to be a little bit stronger than in the past, I would say with composite bodies, so there is a little more room for rubbing there, but suspension wise I don’t know where we stand on contact and things like that right now. I think a lot of question marks. I think the Coliseum is going to be – if it’s going to happen, that’s going to be the kind of place that is going to make it difficult to race clean and drive clean and do those things, but certainly think it’s still possible, so we will see how it goes.”

Is it worth getting into somebody this weekend if you have a chance to win this weekend because it’s a non-points event?

“There is certainly potential for that; that’s the risk you take every week with the decisions you make. It’s a long year and you definitely don’t want to start off the year in an exhibition race with a bunch of people mad at you.”

How much has the Cup Series missed true bullring type racing like we are going to see this weekend?

“I think we’ve had it at Martinsville over the years, not much more than that. Definitely, going back in time you look at North Wilkesboro and Martinsville and places like that. I think those races are a lot of fun. They are always exciting. I don’t know where this Coliseum is going to fit in this discussion, but it definitely has potential to be pretty wild. We will see. It will be fun. I grew up racing up North, and I raced on a lot of small racetracks. They were always full of contact and lot of excitement. Hopefully, we can put our Cup Series spin on that with the drivers we have and the talent throughout the field it’s going to be exciting.”

How are the bigger brakes going to change short track racing as we’ve known it?

“They are definitely going to change it some. How much exactly, I’m not sure. Obviously, the brakes are big, but the car is bigger, the car is heavier. We will see, but overall, throughout the year since I’ve been doing it even, the brakes have gotten so much better. It’s like they are not an issue anymore. It kind of takes them out of the equation, I’d say, if anything, but again, not really 100% on this car how it’s going to react, but so far the brakes have been really, really good.”

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our more than 1,800 dealerships.

Toyota directly employs more than 48,000 people in North America who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 43 million cars and trucks at our 13 manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 14th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With the more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, more than a quarter of the company’s 2021 North American sales were electrified.

Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit

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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