Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. was made available to media at ISM Raceway:
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No.19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Would you have any interest in other forms of motorsports after you leave NASCAR?
“When I’m done with this, for sure. I just don’t know what. It will be something sporadically.”
Are you going into this weekend focused on the 2020 championship race?
“For sure. I think it’s an important race, not only here this weekend, but in the spring to get ready for the fall next year. Hopefully, we’ll be racing for a championship here next year. We definitely want to play off of that here this weekend and get a good head start on next year. The rules are all going to be the same next year so it won’t be a huge change. Everybody works on their stuff all winter and there will obviously be changes as far as that goes. Just trying to get a good hold here. It’s not been our greatest track over the years. I felt like in the spring, we were really strong and ran second, but kind of ran out of laps. Definitely want to figure out how to get a little better here, especially for next year if we can make the final four again.”
If you weren’t locked into Homestead, would you still look at this weekend as a test for next year?
“It’s a big deal. We all hope you put ourselves in that position every season. Certainly, next year we would expect to be in the same position with the season we had this year and a lot of things staying the same. It’s an important race and honestly, we show up every week to win so it’s not like we come here and say, ‘Oh, we need to win this race because of next year.’ We try that every weekend. It’s going to be important to get some good notes and get a good head start on next year.”
Do you expect the PJ1 to affect the race on Sunday?
“I would think that Sunday it would probably come in some, in three and four especially. We tend to move up quite high, at least high-middle in the races here on those long runs. I would think it would come into play, especially through the middle on exit. Not sure on entry, it’s pretty high, but guys going in the middle and sliding up into it and getting it worked in, definitely could come into play for sure.”
Do you think adding thee PJ1 this weekend is a setup to the championship race next year?
“I don’t know. Honestly nobody has been in it yet and we haven’t done that here. We tend to run pretty high, especially in three and four here in the races. At some point, it’s going to come into play on Sunday and we’ll have to figure it out from there.”
Does NASCAR need to make judgement calls on drivers intentionally spinning to bring a caution?
“I don’t know who else is going to take care of it. It’s been getting pretty popular to have a flat tire and spin out on purpose. I don’t know, it’s definitely not good. It could affect the championship race. If last week were Homestead, a lot of people would be pretty upset. I’m not sure how to handle it. I don’t run the sport, NASCAR is pretty good at doing that. It’s definitely frustrating when you’re out there leading or doing something good and it could potentially ruin your day by the caution coming out at the wrong time.”
Has it frustrated you previously about these types of cautions?
“It just depends, if it doesn’t affect you. You can pretty much tell if somebody does it on purpose. It’s not rocket science.”
What do you think we will see in the race on Sunday?
“I think it will be pretty typical racing here. Just the PJ1 is the big question mark. How early does it come in? How much does it come in? Can we use it early in runs? I don’t see it happening, but it will change things for sure. Phoenix, it won’t be a whole lot different from the spring race I wouldn’t think.”
What is your balance between focus on Phoenix and Miami?
“We’ve been working on Miami for a few weeks now so it’s definitely high priority, but I think preparation for this race really isn’t any different than any other weekend to be honest. Fortunately, we had a pretty good run in the spring. Had a good car and felt like we could play off of that. We didn’t have to do a whole lot of extra work. Homestead is a one-off race. We haven’t been there with this package and there’s a whole lot that goes into this package in general. They’ve been working pretty hard on it for quite a while now.”
How was practice?
“Pretty good, pretty happy. We had a really good run here in the spring race, came close. Felt like we needed a few more laps to maybe have a shot at it. Had a good long run car and kind of played off of that coming here this weekend. Felt really good about things. Our speeds looked good and probably could have used a little more take-off speed and see if we can work more of that into it in this second practice.”
Toyota Racing PR