Despite Fractured Wrist at Bristol, Truex Jr. Still Fond of Historic Short Track
March 11, 2014
When Martin Truex Jr. recently said, “You’ll never know what you’re going to get at Bristol Motor Speedway,” he wasn’t just referring to spins and wrecks.
He was also referring to a fractured wrist, which he suffered at the Bristol night race last August.
While running up front with 54 laps remaining in the 500-lap event at the half-mile oval, Truex suffered his first injury as a race car driver, breaking the scaphoid bone in his right wrist. The fracture forced him to wear a cast for the remainder of the season.
“It was a weird deal because my wrist broke before I even hit the wall,” recalled Truex. “It was the perfect storm the way I got hit in the left front tire. The impact snapped the steering wheel out of my hands and that’s when the wrist broke.
“You can get in 20 or more wrecks at Bristol and that will never happen. No hard feelings on my end. I love Bristol, I think everybody does. It’s a cool short track. Actually I like it better since they redid the track. I prefer running the high lane and getting up against the wall. You can really fly up there.”
Truex, who is in his first season driving the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, has had his share of highlights and lowlights as he has run the gamut of performances at the Colosseum of short tracks. He has won a Nationwide Series race (2004, March) at Bristol and claimed a runner-up and a third-place finish in the Sprint Cup Series.
“My favorite race at Bristol was winning the Nationwide race – that was pretty cool,” said Truex. “I also think a lot about the second and third place finishes I had there in Cup. I just never quite had the speed to be the guy to beat at the end. Right now we’ll take all those experiences and try to figure out how to be that guy at the end of the race.”
After last week’s performance in Las Vegas, Truex and his Furniture Row Racing teammates are feeling more upbeat. Truex’s Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet ran in the top-10 for the majority of the race, but slipped to 14th when a pit-road strategy didn’t pan out on the final stop.
“That was our third points race together and it felt good to see how much progress we made during the weekend,” noted Truex. “But going to Bristol with a new team could present some challenges. Hopefully what I used in the past there as far as feel and what I like in a race car will still work.”
In 16 career Cup starts at Bristol, Truex has two top-fives, two top-10s and has led 114 laps. His average start is 16.6 and average finish is 19.3.