Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. was made available to media at Texas Motor Speedway:
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No.19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
At this point in the Playoffs, how do you think non-Playoff drivers should be racing Playoff drivers?
“That’s a difficult question. Obviously, everyone is out there to do the best job that they can for their team, for their sponsors, for themselves. Everyone is in a little bit of a different situation – some guys have rides, some guys don’t. I don’t know that it changes a whole lot from the rest of the season to be honest. I guess maybe if it comes down to a win – racing a Playoff guy, maybe it does a little bit. But I think you just try to race the way you always have. Be respectful, and race guys the way you want to be raced. I don’t know if it really ever changes in my opinion.”
You haven’t won here, but you have been close a lot. Is there one thing you can point at and say this is the reason that you haven’t won here?
“Not really, it has been a lot of different things over the years with a lot of different rules and the track changing throughout the years. We’ve been close a few times in all situations, so it has not been really one thing. It’s just sometimes – like I talked about in Martinsville last week – it has just hasn’t been our time yet. We kind of struggled a little bit here in the spring race, and so looking forward to see what we can do here this weekend with all we’ve learned this year and the things we’ve worked on and the momentum we have and the confidence we have. So hopefully, we can put it to good use this weekend, and do everything right, and get our first win here.”
Can you talk about how much things have changed since you have been paired with Cole Pearn (crew chief)?
“Obviously, the proof is in the result. It has been really good. Cole is an awesome crew chief, and he’s a great team leader. He does a lot to help me with the things that I need to be better at. He holds everyone accountable, but at the same time has fun and everybody has fun. There is a lot of reasons, but for him and I we just clicked from the start, to be honest. Our approach, our background, and obviously, the success has been amazing. You never know when it’s going to change, but they all work really hard and hopefully, we can keep it going.”
Other going for the win, does it really matter what happens the next two weeks?
“I prefer not to piss anyone off. Honestly, we are going to race hard and try to win, but we don’t need any enemies. So, we will just do our normal deal to be honest with you. I don’t think we do anything different than a normal weekend. I don’t think we do anything different than we did in Martinsville last weekend. We always do the best we can for everyone on our team and all of our sponsors and again ourselves. We want to win. We have a lot of confidence, and we have great equipment and a great team. Why not take advantage of it?”
How much of redemption factor is there knowing that you are headed back to Homestead this year with another shot at the title?
“I think for me personally to be able to get back there and have another shot at it is great. I think last year was last year. You can’t turn back time, you can’t go back and change things and do things different. I think we did a great job in that race last year. We had a great car. It just didn’t play out the way we needed it to. Sometimes those things happen in racing. There’s a lot of things that need to go your way to win these things. It’s really difficult. I think our strategy will be similar. We will go there and try to do the best job that we can do. But just to be able to go back there again, and have that opportunity is huge. It means everything to us. At the start of the year, that is your goal – How do we get to Miami? How do we make the Final Four and get another shot at the championship? I would say it’s completely unrelated to last year. We are just ready to go again and try for another one.”
Heard that you were asked to do the Rolex race next year. Did you get asked and are you considering it at all?
“I did, and I passed. Just because I didn’t think it was going to be as much fun as I hoped. I don’t know. I raced the Daytona road course once, and I was pretty terrible at it. I really didn’t want to tear their car up to be honest.”
Toyota Racing PR