Martin Truex Jr. reflects on win at Pocono, looks ahead

Posted On Thursday, 11 June 2015 20:00 Written by
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THE MODERATOR: Martin, you're in the midst of a career year. Talk about how much this victory meant to you.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, it's really hard to put it into words just what it meant. You know, I think honestly this whole season has been just so much fun for us as a team and as a group. To really ‑‑ after kind of what we went through last year, learning each other, learning more what not to do than anything and then really bringing it into this season, it's just been a pleasure to work with the team. It's been a lot of fun. Honestly it's the most fun I've had in racing in a long, long time, and just so thankful for the opportunity to drive for Barney and everybody there.
The win was kind of an exclamation point on really the start of the our season, but we've had a lot to be happy about, a lot to be excited about, and honestly just looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing what we can do now that the pressure is off and we can go to work on getting ready for the last 10.


Q. Martin, obviously you went there and you didn't know how this was all going to work out and it's working out quite well this year. What's your current thoughts on continuing with the team and your current contract situation, and do you plan to try to do something long‑term with them?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I would like to, honestly. We haven't really talked about it. You know, with the team that we're building, that we've built, I feel like this is the kind of situation that I've really looked for my whole career. You know, the guys have done such a great job and they're so good at what they're doing, and we have such a great group. You know, I feel like this team is special. I feel like it's ‑‑ you look over the years at Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson and the team that they built and what Gordon did with Evernham back in the day. This team has that feel of it's just special, and they're doing special things. They're making ‑‑ they're building great race cars, they're making good decisions, they're making it really easy for me to do my job. Honestly it's so relaxed and so much fun that, yeah, I mean, I really want to do everything I can to keep this group together because I think there's so much more we can do.
I think that I feel like we're still learning, we're still getting better, we're still learning each other some. I mean, it's just ‑‑ to see what this team has accomplished so early this season has been amazing. For sure it's something I'd like to keep going for a long time.

Q. Can you just talk about kind of your feelings of being ‑‑ hoping to be with this organization long‑term now versus maybe four or five months ago?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Honestly, you know, it hasn't changed much. I've been so happy with everything this year. If you would have asked me that last year, I guess maybe I would be a little bit more indecisive, but honestly, the way this year has gone, the group we have, it's really felt that way from the start, really as soon as we started the year and started just ‑‑ everything just seemed to go so seamlessly. It's almost like we started working together, Cole and I, and it was like we had done it for years. You know, he's obviously a guy that you're going to hear about around here for a long, long time.
That's the kind of relationship that you need to have as a driver to be successful, to be consistently successful I guess is the key word, because it's easy to have a couple good weeks and then fall off the radar. I think a lot of guys early in the season were like, yeah, it's a good start for them, but let's see where it goes, and I think now we've kind of proved that we're here to say. We're going to be here for a while, and hopefully that's the case. And I feel like with our relationship and the way the season has gone, I feel like ‑‑ I honestly feel like we are still getting better, and there's room for us to improve, and that's a pretty exciting thing to think about for me right now.

Q. And does the win allow you to kind of possibly allow you to move the negotiations forward?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, I hope so. You know, I'm ready to go, so we'll have to figure it all out and see what happens with it.

Q. Martin, I wonder if I could jump ahead to the Sonoma race just for a second. You won here in 2013, and having previously struggled here, what have you learned about that road course over the years and what do you think of your chances this year racing for your new team?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, I've learned a lot about the racetrack. I feel like it's honestly a place where I've always really run pretty good. It was really one of those places where for a long time there I was just kind of snake bit; running up front, get spun out, or things like that seemed to happen to me quite often there. It's a place we've been fast. I really love coming out there, a great area of the country, just a really fun racetrack.
I've always enjoyed road courses. When I first started racing go‑karts as a kid I started on road courses, so it's kind of something that I've really always liked. It's a lot of fun, and looking forward to seeing what we can do out there this year with this team and the momentum that we have and the confidence we have in each other and just the race cars the guys are building are just incredible.
Definitely looking forward to getting out there and using what I know about the racetrack and hopefully getting that second victory there.

Q. I know you don't want to rehash everything that happened last year with you, but I was kind of wondering if there were some things that you wished you had done differently.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: No, not really. I mean, I think ‑‑ even though ‑‑ I don't think I would have done anything differently, honestly, and kind of a crazy thing to say, but you know, I think that as bad as it was, you know, I don't think I would have ‑‑ if I had the opportunity to say today that I didn't ‑‑ if I could change it so none of that stuff ever happened, I'm not sure I would. I think it's kind of changed me. It's made me a better person. It's made me understand life a lot more, made me appreciate the things I do have more, and you know, honestly, as long as Sherry stays healthy from here on out, I think it's kind of weird to say, but it's almost a blessing in disguise.

Q. Speaking of her, I was just wondering how is her situation now? How is her health now, and how much has that whole thing weighed upon you?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: She's doing great. She's still on her once‑a‑month chemo for just a maintenance for a year, so she'll be on that until February, but she's feeling great. She's doing awesome, and really, really honestly back to her normal life that she had before the cancer. Again, just pray that she stays clear for a long time and can get it kind of out of her mind that she can stop worrying about it, I guess, and just move on with her life.
It's been good, and just glad that she's feeling good and is back to normal and back to doing the things she loves to do, and it's been great.

Q. The contract everyone is talking about, you at one time seemingly previously, previous teams would have been maybe more all focused in on that. It seems like you're kind of going with the flow on that because this team is so strong; you would have been thinking about it a different way in previous teams?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I don't know. You know, I think that we've really just been so focused on what we've been doing, we really haven't got there, and there's some things that we kind of need to figure out really before we even start to talk about that. Honestly, I'm really comfortable, really happy with where I'm at. I think the team feels the same way, so it's not like we're really focused on it or worried about it. I think it's something we both kind of know in the back of our minds that, yeah, we'll get to it when we need to, but for now let's just focus on what we're doing and keep this thing going the way it's going.

Q. I was at the race shop here on Monday in Denver, and obviously it was a happy place.

Q. Do you wish that you had a place in Denver, and to celebrate a victory with the guys at the shop?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yes, without a doubt. Yeah, I mean, it's been quite a while since I've actually even been out there, so it's crazy. Man, it's just so far. We're in Pocono this past weekend, and I had to go to Michigan. We kind of have a ‑‑ it's like a yearly thing, we go to Michigan and spend the week up there before the race, so we're kind of planning on doing that, and then of course Grandmother's funeral came up on Tuesday and we're here just testing at Darlington on Wednesday. Yeah, it would have been awesome to have a place out there, but I wouldn't have been able to get there this week anyway, so it's kind of crazy.
You know, hopefully we'll be able to get out there soon. Just super proud of all those guys out there and their commitment to what they're doing. It would be nice to ‑‑ for sure would be nice if I could get out there a little bit more often, especially after a week like last weekend.

Q. I know that a couple years ago Furniture Row with their cars and engines, when Kurt was driving for them, competing for them, it was with Richard Childress Racing. Are your team still in that alliance with RCR? I know that Barney and Richard are good friends.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yep, we still work with RCR.

Q. And how close are you guys with that team?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Honestly, really as close as you can get without being in the same building. I mean, we share everything. They build our chassis, they build our engines. We share everything. We do team meetings together. Really honestly we're basically another car of theirs that just runs out of a different shop. Open book. It's been a great thing for us, obviously, that relationship, and they've done a great job of helping us kind of get to where we are and helping our team to be consistent. They've been very awesome, been great about just having that open book and communicating and making us feel like we're part of their team, so it's been a really great relationship.

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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