MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
You were strong all day, but at the end of the race that car came to life. How did you score the win?
“It was pretty incredible there at the end. The Bass Pro Toyota – James (Small, crew chief) and the guys really hung with me all day. We never could get quite where we wanted it. It started getting dark and she came to life. Thankful to Reser’s Fine Foods, Bass Pro Shops, all of these great fans. Thank y’all for coming out. I hope y’all enjoyed it. We love seeing you. Just thanks to all of the partners – Auto Owners, Toyota, TRD, Sherwin Williams, Textron Aviation, Noble Airspace. We got so many people that help us out. I can’t believe we won here again after not having the dominate car here today for sure. That was a lot of fun there racing at the end with Denny (Hamlin). We raced clean and we were able to come out on top.”
How difficult is it to race a teammate for a win?
“It’s definitely difficult. We try to race hard, race clean. He was making it difficult on me. I was loose coming off of the corners and his car got tight, so we kind of had opposite things going on and it made it difficult to pass, but we played nice and Coach (Joe Gibbs, team owner) will be happy. It will be a cordial meeting tomorrow.”
Is it hard to believe that you have now won for the third time at Martinsville?
“This is unbelievable. This place has become a playground for us I guess. We didn’t have the best car all day, but we just kept working on it and never quit on it. Proud of James (Small, crew chief) and all the guys. This Bass Pro/Tracker Toyota Camry came on at the end and that’s when it counts. There’s something about when the lights come on here, we’re really good so that was cool.”
What was the battle like in the closing laps with Denny Hamlin?
“It was good, hard, clean hard racing. He (Denny Hamlin) was getting tight. I couldn’t get the power down so we kind of had opposite things going on there. I could get inside of him, but I couldn’t clear him, he could get the power down on me. It was a fun battle and it was a clean battle. Coach (Joe Gibbs, team owner) will be happy tomorrow. We didn’t make each other mad or do anything stupid.”
What has changed in recent years with your wins now coming at more short tracks?
“Just continuing to work with my team on the cars and the setups. They’ve been able to make the cars do what I need them to do and that was something I’ve been missing for a long time. Great race cars. Thanks to JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) and everyone back at the shop and everyone on this No. 19 Bass Pro Camry team. They do an awesome job. We keep tweaking on it and tweaking on it. For awhile there, I’m like, man, maybe we shouldn’t have done a few of the thing that we did, but here we are. Like I said, when the lights come on for some reason our cars get really fast.”
Are you shocked to think you’re about to go receive your third Grandfather clock?
“There was a time when I thought there was no chance in hell I’d have a clock so to have three and to have a shot at even more than that has been amazing. Thank you all.”
Toyota Racing PR