Truex Jr. Looking for Continuation of Daytona Omen
July 1, 2015
The success that Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing enjoyed in February at Daytona International Speedway to open the 2015 season turned out to be an omen for the single-car team.
Truex and his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet sent an early message in the three races during Daytona Speedweeks. Truex finished second in the Sprint Unlimited and fifth in the 150-mile qualifying race, both non-points events. He ended Speedweeks with a strong eighth-place result in the Daytona 500.
“Those three races during Speedweeks told us that we were on the right course of what we were working on at the end of 2014 and during the offseason,” said Truex, who celebrated his 35th birthday on Monday (June 29). “Speedweeks also gave us a big confidence boost to start the season.”
Truex is off to his best start in the Sprint Cup Series. In the first 16 races he has one win (at Pocono), five top-fives, 14 top-10s and has led 486 laps. He has been second in driver points since finishing fifth at Talladega on May 3.
The above performance numbers are a vast improvement for the New Jersey native, who had one top-five, five top-10s and led only one lap in last year’s 36-race season.
Truex will be looking for another Daytona bounce as he returns to the hallowed superspeedway for Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400, which will mark his 350th career Sprint Cup start. He is coming off his worst finish of the season (42nd) after getting knocked off the track and into a tire wall by a fellow competitor at the Sonoma Raceway road course. The incident ended his day early -- on Lap 28 of 110 -- with severe front-end damage to his race car.
“After what happened to us in Sonoma we can’t wait to get back on track,” said Truex. “But Daytona is a lot like Sonoma – trouble can find you anytime and at any point of the track. We just need to stay focused, run up front and take care of our equipment.”
Though Truex has yet to win a superspeedway Sprint Cup race, he does know what it takes to tackle the high banks at Daytona and Talladega. His Xfinity Series record includes four superspeedway victories – 2005 at the July Daytona race and three straight wins at Talladega from 2004-2006.
“We had solid runs this year at the two superspeedway races, finishing eighth at Daytona and fifth at Talladega,” noted Truex. “I am confident that we’ll have another fast car this weekend.”