Toyota Racing MENCS Charlotte Victory Lane – Martin Truex Jr.

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

You’re a two-time winner of the longest race  of the year. You really earned this one today, didn’t you?

“I don’t know how we did it honestly. I blew that right-front tire earlier and hit the fence off (Turn) 4. I thought man, that’s not good. I know this car is pretty banged up. We just fought back from it. We kept working on the car and kept adjusting on the car. What a rocket ship this Bass Pro Toyota was this weekend. I felt good about it in practice, but you just don’t know and these mile-and-a-halfs have been tough on us this year – kind of scratching and clawing trying to find something. Kansas a few weeks ago was really a reality check for us. It’s one of our best tracks and we really struggled there and knew we had to get to work. Just hats off to the guys for listening to my input and what I had to say. We had a pretty good car at the All-Star race last weekend, but we knew it wasn’t good enough. They went to work this week and made it better. I’m just really proud, really happy for everybody at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) back in the shop, Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Auto Owners, everybody that helps us here. The TRD (Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A.) engine was unbelievable tonight. We overheated early when we had that damage and it held together. I don’t know what else to say. Just an awesome team. I’m blessed to drive for JGR. Thanks to Coach (Gibbs) and everybody. It’s been awesome.”

What were you thinking on that restart with five laps to go?

“I was thinking I was going wherever there was a hole because I wasn’t lifting. That’s kind of the way it works there. It seemed like the second half of the race for sure the bottom was really where you wanted to be. I had a hole in the bottom to get into (Turn) 3 and I knew that was my only shot. Just barely cleared the 22 (Joey Logano) off (Turn) 4 sideways. He was on my bumper and had me sideways and I hung onto it and luckily finished it from there.”

Is there a more special weekend to win?

“I don’t know. This is just a special race. The longest race of the year. So much history. What this weekend means for all the soldiers and all those that have given the ultimate sacrifice so we can even be here. The Null Family that’s on my car – Chief Petty Officer (Nicholas) Null. I met his family this weekend and they were so appreciative of NASCAR and teams and everybody for doing this. I can’t wait to see them here. They said we were going to win and now we get to have a cold beer and celebrate. Just appreciate everybody on this weekend. It’s definitely a special one. Kudos to NASCAR and all the teams for putting it all together.”

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