“We’ll need to step up our game,” says Furniture Row driver about Round 2 of Chase
DENVER, Colo. (Oct. 7, 2015) – Watching Martin Truex Jr.’s performance in the spring race at Charlotte Motor Speedway it would be hard to tell that the Chase contender has had a history of struggling at the 1.5-mile oval.
Truex finished fifth at Charlotte in May and led a race high of 131 laps. The reason he didn’t win the 600-mile event was that the four drivers who finished ahead of him successfully gambled on fuel mileage.
“I was waiting for those four cars to run out of fuel and then drive to Victory Lane,” said Truex, whose fifth-place finish was a career best at Charlotte. “But somehow they managed to stretch the fuel window.”
Truex, who advanced into the second round of the Chase playoffs following an 11th-place finish in Dover, will get another opportunity at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500, the first race of the 12-driver Contender Round.
Truex finished the first round of the 16-driver Chase fifth in points. His results were 13th (Chicagoland), eighth (New Hampshire) and 11th (Dover).
“We’re excited about advancing into the second round of the Chase even though it means more sleepless nights,” said Truex. “We haven’t been really good or really bad so far in the Chase. We’ve been consistent and that’s why we got past the first round. But to advance into the next round we’ll need to step up our game.
“Though we had a great run in Charlotte in the spring, it’s a track where I have struggled at throughout my career. I hope the last couple of runs we had there have put us in the right direction on how to attack the track on Saturday night.”
In 20 career starts at Charlotte, Truex has one top-five and five top 10s.
The Furniture Row driver would like to have results similar to what he had in the spring races at the three Contender Round venues – Charlotte (5th), Kansas (9th) and Talladega (5th) for an average three-race finish of 6.33.
“Just because we had good cars in the spring doesn’t always mean we’ll have close-to-the same performances in the fall,” explained the 35-year-old Truex. “I am confident that we’ll have what it takes, but all the pieces have to work together.
“At Charlotte and Kansas you know what it takes to win. But then there’s Talladega, a crap-shoot type of race. A few inches there could mean the difference of advancing to the next round or being eliminated from the Chase.”
Furniture Row Racing Traveling Crew, 2015
No. 78 Over-the-Wall Crew
Craig Curione, Sanborn, N.Y.
Adam Mosher, Fort Mill, S.C.
Carey Wimbish, Granite Falls, N.C.
Brian Dheel, Akron, Ohio
No. 78 Road Crew
Joe Garone, Denver, Colo.
Cole Pearn, London, Ontario, Canada
Blake Harris, Maypearl, Texas
Jeff Curtis, Fairfax Station, Va.
Pete Craik, Melbourne, Australia
Clayton Hughes, Thomasville, N.C.
Craig Griffitts, Thomasville, N.C.
Nick Kerlin, Old Fort, Ohio
Tommy DiBlasi, Annapolis, Md.
Ryan Kelly, London, Ontario, Canada
Gary Frost, Romeo, Mich., Nino Venezia, Philadelphia
Ryan Kelly, London, Ontario
Chuck Lemay, DeKalb, IL,