MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 SiriusXM Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How good does it feel to be back in Victory Lane at this place?
“It feels incredible. So thankful for this team. What a race car we had today. This SiriusXM Camry was just incredible. Thank you to everyone back at the shop at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), Bass Pro, Auto Owners, everybody who supports us and makes this happen. We have one hell of a team and we came here with a new setup this time. We had an older setup that won in 2016 and had been good but not good enough. Hats off to Cole (Pearn, crew chief), James (Small, engineer) and everyone with TRD (Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A.) back in California, Costa Mesa for awesome engines and horsepower. Thanks to all these fans that have come out today on Monday.”
They say this is a tough place to pass. How did you do it?
“I promise it wasn’t easy. It was a lot of work. It was tough. But this race car was just incredible. Just thanks to everyone who makes this possible. I can’t believe it. Without Talladega, we would have had two in a row. It is special. New guys this year. Coach (Joe Gibbs, team owner) has put together a good bunch and Cole (Pearn, crew chief) and everybody. I am really, really proud to drive these Toyotas. They are awesome and I am a lucky guy.”
What has started to click for you guys?
“I think just putting all the details together. We’ve had speed all year. Finished second at Atlanta. Felt like we had the best car. Had some issues on pit road. Phoenix we ran second again. Seems like we were having little hiccups here and there. Now we’re starting to not only make our cars a little bit faster, show up better on Fridays, we’re a step ahead on the weekend. The pit crew is really doing a great job. That’s been the difference. We had a lot of trouble in the pits earlier in the year, didn’t get to show our speed. The guys are coming together, gelling, doing a fine job. We were able to take advantage of fast race cars today.”
How much did the track change? Did you guys adapt or did it come to you?
“It definitely changed a lot. We were really fast the first run of the race and I think from there we just had to keep up with the race track. It was definitely changing, and there were a few runs in there where we got pretty tight and we had to continue to free the car up. It was right at the end when we needed it to be and luckily no cautions at the end there, so we could just ride around and put it in the bag.
What about Monday at the Monster Mile works well for you?
“I don’t know, but if we have to race here again on a Monday, I will be pretty excited about it.”
Toyota Racing PR