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PRESS RELEASE – Truex Jr. Building on Martinsville Success

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Truex Jr. Building on Martinsville Success

 

DENVER, Colo. (March 29, 2016) – Calling Martinsville (Va.) Speedway a puzzle over the years took a positive turn last season for Martin Truex Jr.  The Furniture Row Racing driver scored a pair of sixth-place finishes in 2015 at the .526-mile oval, and had qualifying efforts of third and second respectively.

 

The two sixth-place results were light years better than his finishing average of 27.60 in the previous five starts at NASCAR’s shortest track. He also led a total of 50 laps at Martinsville last year (23 and 27), compared to only one lap led in his previous 18 starts. 

“Martinsville is one of those tracks where I have continued to get better at throughout my career,” explained Truex. “I also feel the time I have been at Furniture Row Racing we have continued as a team to figure that place out as well.

 

“Early in my career Martinsville was my least favorite racetrack. It was a puzzling track where I could always seem to go fast in practice and qualify up front but never race well. It has just taken time over the years to put all of that stuff in the memory bank of what needs to get accomplished throughout the weekend because it’s such a tricky little place.”

Truex, who will drive the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota this weekend, is looking for another strong performance in Sunday’s STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race, the first short track competition of the season.

“What we did last year at Martinsville was last year and you can’t stand pat in this business,” noted Truex. “Your goal is to always win, but finishing sixth at Martinsville is a pretty good day. A lot of things have changed since we last visited Martinsville and once you’re there luck has to be on your side. When you have 39 cars on a half-mile track the odds do increase of being collected in a wreck.”

 

Truex feels his Furniture Row Racing Toyota has had the speed, but the results have not equaled the performances during the first five races of the season. 

After losing the season-opening Daytona 500 by inches, Truex followed with finishes of  7th in Atlanta, 11th in Las Vegas, 14th in Phoenix and 32nd in Fontana.

At Fontana Truex led the third most laps and was out front at three different times of the race, but an issue with the No. 22 car sent the No. 78 into the wall causing serious damage. Truex wobbled home with his worst finish since last year’s fall race in Richmond.

“We’ve been close, but not quite there yet,” said Truex, who is ranked 11th in driver points. “Once we hit on all cylinders I feel we can be a consistent contender. The competition is tough out there and that just makes you work that much harder to find more speed.”

Truex’s Career Cup Record at Martinsville

Year Start Finish Status/Laps Laps Led
    2006 21 19 Running, 

498/500

0
18 36 Running, 

453/500

0
2007 15 29 Running, 

496/500

1
2 19 Running, 

506/506

0
2008 42 21 Running,

499/500

0
18 10 Running, 

504/504

0
2009 20 29 Running, 

498/500

0
3 28 Running, 

499/501

0
2010 20 5 Running, 

508/508

0
16 29 Running, 

473/500

0
2011 18 40 Crash, 

219/500

0
24 8 Running, 

500/500

0
2012 13 5 Running, 

515/515

0
12 23 Running, 

499/500

0
2013 12 40 Running, 

385/500

0
15 16 Running, 

500/500

0
2014 31 21 Running, 

500/500

0
26 38 Crash, 

436/500

0
2015 3 6 Running, 

500/500

23
2 6 Running,

500

27

Martinsville Speedway Totals

Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led AvgSt AvgFn DNF
20 0 2 6 0 51 16.6 21.4 2

Truex’s 2016 Sprint Cup Series Results

No. Date Event St Fn Laps Led Status Points Standing
1 2/21 Daytona 500 28 2 200/200 2 Running 40/40 2
2 2/28 Atlanta 9 7 330/330 34 Running 20*/60 2
3 3/6 Las Vegas 10 11 267/267 0 Running 30/90 9
4 3/13 Phoenix 8 14 313/313 0 Running 27/117 9
5 3/20 Fontana 17 32 204/205 21 Running 10/127 11

*penalized 15 points

         Furniture Row Racing Traveling Roster, 2016

           No. 78 Over-the-Wall Crew

Front-tire changer Brian Eastlund, New Bern, N.C.
Front-tire carrier Chris Hall, Springfield, Mo.
Rear-tire changer Lee Cunningham, Lake River, IL
Rear-tire carrier Adam Mosher, Fort Mill, S.C.
Jackman Bailey Walker, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Gasman Brian Dheel, Norton, Ohio

No. 78 Road Crew

President Joe Garone, Denver, Colo.
Crew Chief Cole Pearn, London, Ontario, Canada
Car Chief Blake Harris, Maypearl, Texas
Race Engineers Jeff Curtis, Fairfax Station, Va.

Pete Craik, Melbourne, Australia

Data/IT/Engineer Ryan Kelly, London, Ontario, Canada
Engine Tuner Greg Huls, Beatrice, Neb.
Engine Engineer Jon Grove, Mandurah, Australia
Engine Builder TRD, U.S.A
Spotter Clayton Hughes, Thomasville, N.C. 
Shock Specialist Nick Kerlin, Old Fort, Ohio
Tire Specialist  Tommy DiBlasi, Annapolis, Md.
Front-End Mechanic Gary Frost, Romeo, Mich.,
Rear-End Mechanic Nino Venezia,Philadelphia
Floater Mechanic Todd Carmichael, Redding, Calif.
Transportation Chuck Lemay, DeKalb, IL,  Barry Huston, Bloomingdale, Mich., Roy Miller, Elkridge, Md., Roger Pritchard, Hutchinson, Kan., Henry Benfield, Statesville, N.C.  

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