It’s Pocono Time, a Buoyant Feeling for Truex Jr.
July 30, 2014
A candid Martin Truex, Jr. has said the first 20 races of 2014 have not gone the way the Furniture Row Racing team had anticipated. But the driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet has not given up. He feels the team is only a few tweaks from advancing to another level of competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“We expected a lot more than what we have shown,” said Truex. “We learned in the first half of the year a whole of lot of what not to do. It’s been a tough season so far. We had a lot of bad luck along the way too. I really feel we will be better off the second time around at these tracks.”
One of the bright spots for Truex and the single-car, Denver-based team was in early June at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, site of Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400.
Truex posted a top-10 finish of ninth at Pocono, a 2.5-mile triangular track he considers his second home based on the distance to his hometown in Mayetta, New Jersey.
“A lot of times during the first half of the year we were so far off at some of the tracks we could never catch up,” explained Truex. “But on the other hand, there were tracks that we did make some headway and Pocono was one of them. I felt that Pocono was the best car we had during the race. Things like that make me optimistic about the second half of the season and especially going back to Pocono, which was our last top-10 finish.”
There are other statistical reasons why Truex has developed a fondness for Pocono. In 17 Pocono starts he has completed all but one lap -- 3047 out of 3048. The only lap he didn’t complete was his first race at Pocono in June 2006. He has gone 16 straight races of completing every lap.
Truex has also garnered two top-fives and six top-10s at Pocono.
“Of course I like Pocono,” said Truex, “I’ve had some good runs there and feel quite comfortable with the challenge of the three different corners there."
Truex added, “We've been on the edge of making a major breakthrough but haven't been able to make that hurdle to get to the next level. While it's been disappointing, no one is hanging his head. We just keep on plugging away, making changes until we find the combination that will deliver more speed and better handling of our No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet. We need a win to make the Chase and that’s what we’ll be striving for in the upcoming races."