MTJ’s Bristol News And Notes

Martin Truex, Jr.
Truex pulls into his pit box for some service

No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry News and Notes

TRUEX AT BRISTOL: Martin Truex Jr. has earned two top-five finishes and three top-10s in NASCAR Cup Series competition at Bristol Motor Speedway. Most recently, Truex matched his career-best starting position (third) and led 52 laps when the Cup Series visited the ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile’ last August. He posted finishes of 17th and 13th in two starts at Bristol in 2019 despite running in the top five during both events.

CHARLOTTE RECAP: Truex claimed a pair of top-10 finishes in two starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this week. In the Coca-Cola 600, he ran inside the top five throughout the race before ultimately finishing sixth. On Thursday night, Truex battled a loose handling condition throughout the race and ran as low as 28th before mounting a late charge to finish ninth.

BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT: In March 2004, Bristol Motor Speedway played host to Truex’s first NASCAR national series victory when he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race. He led a race-high 134 laps that afternoon and fended off Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch for the first of six victories during his 2004 Xfinity Series championship season.

SINCE THE RETURN TO RACING: The No. 19 team is tied for the most points scored since NASCAR’s return to racing on May 17. Counting the two Darlington races and a pair of events at Charlotte, Truex and overall points leader Kevin Harvick have each earned 167 points. Over that stretch, Truex jumped from 15th to seventh in the series standings.

STRONG IN THE STAGES: Through eight races, Truex ranks second in stage points. His 92 stage points trail only Alex Bowman in that category.

NASCAR LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s Loop Data, Truex ranks seventh or better in multiple categories. He leads all drivers as being the fastest on restarts. The No. 19 driver is also fourth in fastest laps run and percentage of laps run on the lead lap. Additionally, he is fifth in fastest drivers early in a run and sixth in average running position, green flag speed, laps in the top 15, laps led and speed by segment. Truex currently has the seventh-best driver rating.

AUTO-OWNERS: Sunday marks the first race this season that Auto-Owners Insurance will be featured as primary sponsor of Truex’s No. 19 Camry. The Lansing, Michigan-based company offers multiple lines of insurance, including life, home, auto and business to customers in 26 states. In their first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, Auto-Owners was on board for monumental moments like Truex’s first victory for the team at Richmond in April, his 500th career start at Michigan in August and the No. 19 team’s dominant Martinsville win that propelled them to a Championship 4 appearance.

JGR AT BRISTOL: Joe Gibbs Racing owns 13 NASCAR Cup Series victories at Bristol Motor Speedway, including both races last season and four of the past five overall. In 138 combined starts, the organization has amassed 34 top-five finishes, 52 top-10s, 11 pole awards and 5,833 laps led the .533-mile concrete oval. Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart have each raced JGR entries to victory lane at Bristol.

TUNE IN: Coverage of this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway begins Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, PRN Radio and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

Martin Truex Jr., Driver of the No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry

Talk about going to Bristol on Sunday and racing with no practice…

“Bristol is always wild, so you go in there expecting anything can and probably will happen. Going there without practice and running the low downforce package will be exciting and a challenge for everyone for sure. I feel like we’ve actually ran pretty well there the last few times and just crazy stuff happens to knock us out of contention. We just need to be able to put a full race together without any mistakes. If we can do that, I feel good about our chances to have a solid day.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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