By: Robbie Mays – @robbiemays | MRN.com on August 7, 2017 | three:20 P.M. EST&#thirteen;
“Began coming right here earlier than I used to be driving something however go karts. Watching my dad race right here a pair occasions and coming right here as only a child operating via the storage making an attempt to study race automobiles after which racing right here within the Busch North Collection myself sort of earlier than I obtained my massive break.” (Photograph: Getty Pictures)&#thirteen;
Martin Truex Jr’s win in Sunday’s I Love New York 355 at Watkins Glen wasn’t simply one other assertion to the competitors that he’s able to win his first Monster Power NASCAR Cup Collection championship this yr.
Whereas the win, his fourth of the season, gave him one other 5 playoff factors and the only lead for many victories in 2017, Truex will keep in mind Sunday because the day he gained at one of many venues he considers a house monitor and one which he is longed for his complete profession.
Hailing from close by Mayetta, New Jersey, Truex joked within the media middle that Watkins Glen, together with Pocono, Dover and New Hampshire are all what he considers house tracks. He now has victories at three of the 4 following Sunday’s win.
“It feels superb. Been eager to win right here a very long time. Been coming right here a very long time,” Truex stated. “Began coming right here earlier than I used to be driving something however go karts. Watching my dad race right here a pair occasions and coming right here as only a child operating via the storage making an attempt to study race automobiles after which racing right here within the Busch North Collection myself type of earlier than I received my massive break.”
He stated that profitable at a monitor within the Northeast the place he reduce his tooth racing is all the time particular however he now has wins at each street programs at present on the Monster Power NASCAR Cup Collection schedule.
“These are the Northeast tracks the place we grew up racing. That is the place my household raced. That is the place my dad raced. That is actually the group of tracks that acquired me a chance to drive automobiles for a dwelling.
“Actually cool to verify this one off the record in addition to everyone needs to win on street programs as a result of it is type of a feather within the cap sort of deal,” Truex stated. “Now to have one at every of the street programs is fairly particular.”
Truex has collected 34 playoff factors via 14 stage wins and 4 race wins through the first 22 races of 26 within the common season. That’s large contemplating the second highest factors complete belongs to Jimmie Johnson with sixteen playoff factors.
If Truex can proceed his tempo of race wins and stage wins by way of the ultimate 4 races of the common season, he might probably have as many as 50 playoff factors once we get to Chicagoland Speedway for the playoff opener in September.
Assuming he has the identical luck as soon as the playoffs begins, he might be poised to advance to the Championship race early within the going. However he is also cautious to comprehend he’s not a assured lock too early.
“I really feel like with the best way we run, coupled with the bonus factors, we should always primarily be a lock for Homestead. However on the similar time, that is racing, and something can occur,” Truex stated. “If we now have three horrible weekends in a row and one in spherical 2, I do not know if it’s going to be sufficient. I imply, it simply is determined by what everyone else does.”
At this level a yr in the past, Truex had just one win within the Monster Power NASCAR Cup Collection – a dominant efficiency within the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte the place he led 392 of four hundred laps. Now he has 4 wins this yr and is closing on a collection of tracks the place he’s had success up to now.
He credit his current success to the chemistry and teamwork his Furnishings Row Racing group has developed through the years.
“We have been collectively 4 years now, and I feel it is simply the evolution of our group and what we have been doing, the issues we work on,” Truex stated. “Final yr was definitely a profitable season however felt like we did not present how good we actually have been. We did not obtain the issues that we thought we have been able to, and so this yr I really feel like we have finished a greater job.”
As assured as Truex is following Watkins Glen, he is aware of he has to remain aggressive through the stretch run to the championship.
“We have got to maintain working arduous. This sport could be very robust. It modifications week to week,” Truex stated. “You by no means know what the subsequent week goes to deliver or three weeks from now, and our final aim this yr is to win our first championship collectively. We will maintain working very exhausting, not take these wins without any consideration however hold working exhausting to attempt to get to the place we need to go.”
And if he does win that championship this yr he can credit score a part of his triumph to Sunday’s win and the arrogance gained profitable at a monitor he’s been going to his complete life.
“All of the tracks that you simply develop up going to are particular to you. Every driver has their very own, clearly, and for me I am lucky that I get to race within the Cup Collection at a few of these tracks, as properly,” Truex stated.
“Plenty of guys do not get to return to the tracks they type of reduce their tooth on, so to talk. So it is cool for me. It is undoubtedly a singular feeling, and I all the time get somewhat little bit of a way of additional satisfaction coming to a few these tracks.”