Bass Pro Shops Racing: Martin Truex Jr. Texas Motor Speedway Advance

Joe Gibbs Racing

● Where we Stand: The New Jersey native heads to Texas second in the driver standings with 295 points, 14 points behind new leader Kyle Larson. All four Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) entries are currently inside the top-11 in points heading to the ninth race of the season, with Denny Hamlin third, Ty Gibbs seventh, and Christopher Bell 11th.

● Aiming for First: Truex has yet to bring home a Cup Series win at Texas in his 34 career starts. Truex has come close, however, bringing home a pair of runner-up finishes there – in the fall of his championship 2017 season with Furniture Row Racing and the fall 2020 race with JGR.

● Up Front: Truex led a race-high 228 laps two weekends ago at Richmond (Va.) Raceway and sits second in laps led in NASCAR’s top series. All four JGR Toyota Camry XSE drivers are among the leaders in total laps led on the season. Larson’s 454 laps led tops the list for the Cup Series, followed by Hamlin at 358 and Truex with 352. Gibbs with 195, and Bell with 119, are also among the top-10 in laps led.

● Truex has five top-five finishes, 17 top-10s and has led a total of 689 laps in 34 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas. Truex’s average Texas finish is 14.6.

● Looking for 35: Truex’s win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon last July was his most recent Cup Series win, the 34th of his career, tying him with 2004 Cup Series champion Kurt Busch for 25th on the all-time Cup Series win list.

● Ahead at this Stage: Truex has accumulated 62 stage wins since the beginning of the stage era in 2017. He is the only driver with 10 or more stage sweeps, with his latest sweep coming at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn last August. Truex scored his first stage win of the season two weekends ago at Richmond, leading the field across the line at the end of Stage 2.

Martin Truex Jr., Driver of the No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry XSE

Texas is a place where you’ve been good, but you’re still trying to find that first win. What is it going to take?

“It’s been a few different things over the years. It’s always been a good track for us. In 2022, we were leading and we blew a tire. It’s been one of those places where we have been snakebit a lot. We’ve had some good runs, we’ve had some struggles at times since they repaved it. Just one of those things, but I feel confident going there with what we have that we’ll run well, especially how we ran there the last couple of years. It’s been tough, we’ve gotten a lot of poles there and led a lot of laps but we just haven’t been able to win there. We just have to go there and I think we have a great shot to win with our Bass Pro Shops Camry.”

Where do you feel like you are as a team so far this season?

“I feel good about where we are at. We’ve had a top-three to top-five car every week, every race, with the exception of Martinsville last week. We haven’t quite capitalized on that over the course of some of these races, some of it in our control and other stuff that just hasn’t worked out. We’ve been really consistent. We’ve been working on cleaning up some mistakes in several areas, I know the guys have been busting their tails working on pit stops. If we can clean that up a bit and they can get some confidence and get consistently fast – our cars are great and the team is doing a great job – and clicking and working hard, and hopefully we can get our first win of the season here really soon. We have had some fast cars at a lot of these places.”

There’s a lot of variety in the schedule now – you go from short tracks, to dirt, to concrete, to road courses, and this week to a 1.5-mile oval. How do you take on the challenge of the variety of tracks you go to in the Cup Series?

“I feel like the schedule nowadays is all over the place with all the road courses we have, it’s just that every week is so different and you have to do your homework and study and think back to last year and past races just to remind ourselves. We have really short practices now, so you don’t get a lot of time to get dialed in and get comfortable, and not getting in that rhythm and just getting the car dialed in. We don’t have a lot of time and we need to show up and be ready to go. For the most part, I’ve been doing to these tracks for quite a while now and you lean on that past experience a lot, especially at a place like Texas this week, where I have raced a lot of times over the years.”

Is the competition as close as it’s ever been?

“Ever since we went to the NextGen car, everything has been closer, and you can see that in the standings, as well – it’s pretty tight. It is harder to find an advantage, it’s harder to run at the front every week consistently. Everything is tighter, closer together, less room for error, and you really have to be on top of things. Qualifying is a big deal now with track position at a premium. You want to run up front and hope for good things to happen.”


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