For Martin Truex Jr. it’s been too long – five years to be exact — since he left Bristol Motor Speedway with a good feeling.
The last time the Furniture Row Racing driver walked out of the half-mile, high-banked oval with a top-10 finish in the NASCAR Cup Series was April 2012 when he posted a third-place result.
Since that top-five posting, Truex has experienced all the bad luck that one can endure at a racing venue, including a fractured wrist during the August 2013 night race.
Though many drivers can claim hard luck at Bristol, Truex seems to have had more than his share there, especially in the last nine races.
“Bristol is Bristol and you’re rarely going to beat the house,” said Truex. “The track is known for its wild races and it seems that I have been a magnet for trouble. Our recent record might not show it, but we do have a car that can compete and contend at the Bristol short track. We just need to be patient and stay out of the wrecks.”
Truex and his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota Camry will be looking for a Bristol Motor Speedway reversal in Sunday’s Food City 500.
“This is our second short track race of the year and we sort of missed it at Martinsville (Speedway) a few weeks ago (finished 16th),” said Truex. “We started off strong at Martinsville, winning the first stage, but didn’t finish strong. The next two weeks (Bristol and Richmond) will give us a good gauge on where we stand with our short track program.”
Though Martinsville was a hiccup, Truex has had a solid start to the 2017 season in his No. 78 Toyota. After seven races, he is positioned in third place in points. He has one win (Las Vegas), two top-fives, four top-10s and has led 316 laps. He also leads the Cup Series with four stage wins and has garnered 73 stage points along with nine playoff bonus points.
His average start through the first seven races of the season is 10.9 and average finish is 8.7.
“So far, pretty good,” said Truex. “But we want to get into a consistent rhythm with all the different types of tracks. We had a variety of things happen to us this year – good breaks, bad breaks – but overall we have come out of the gate with a decent start. It was sure nice to get that win early in the season.”
Truex’s overall record at Bristol includes 22 starts, two top-fives and two top-10s. His average start is 16.9 and average finish 20.9.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!