Skip to content

Martin Truex Jr. hopes momentum continues at always-risky Talladega

May 1, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

(Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images) (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Having won the outside pole, Martin Truex Jr. came into the season-opening Daytona 500 with arguably the best chance he’s ever had of winning the Great American Race.

Unfortunately for Truex, his best chance lasted just 30 laps into the 500’s 200 laps, ending dead last in the 43-car field.

“I felt I had my best opportunity of winning the Daytona 500,” Truex said. “That’s how good our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet was. Unfortunately we didn’t get to showcase our strength due to an oil pump failure.”

As NASCAR returns to restrictor plate racing for the second time this season in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup race at the massive 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway – the largest oval on the NASCAR circuit – Truex hopes fate will smile significantly more on him than it did at Daytona.

He has reason to be optimistic, coming off his best showing of the season last Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway when he finished 10th.

“After what we’ve been through finishing 10th in Richmond felt good,” Truex said. “I feel we’re in position as a team to continue the momentum.”

Momentum has been in relatively short supply thus far for Truex in 2014. After Daytona, Truex has had just the lone top-10 at Richmond and two other top-20 finishes (14th at Las Vegas, 18th at Texas).

While he’s with a new team in 2014, having left after four seasons with Michael Waltrip Racing after NAPA pulled its sponsorship from the team, Truex is coming off two of the strongest runs of his career at Talladega last season, finishing seventh in the spring race and eighth in the fall Chase for the Sprint Cup event.

But at the same time, what he did so well – prior to the oil pump failure, that is – at Daytona doesn’t really mean much at ‘Dega. While both facilities are restrictor plate racetracks, the similarities end there.

“When you go to Talladega it’s a whole new can of worms compared to Daytona because the track is so much wider,” Truex said. “There are more options as far as cars moving around at Talladega.

“Typically, Daytona is a two-wide, sometimes three-wide track where as Talladega is three-wide all the time and sometimes even four-or-five wide. There’s always a lot of side drafting going on at Talladega; these cars are very sensitive to that. The best choice of lane at Daytona is not necessary the best choice of lane at Talladega.”

While encouraged by his finish at Richmond, as well as his last two starts at ‘Dega (out of six career top-10s there), Truex is also cognizant that his average finish there is 21.2, not to mention he’s recorded nine DNFs (50 percent) in his 18 career Sprint Cup starts there.

Seven of those nine DNFs have been due to wrecks, many in Talladega’s infamous “big one,” multi-car crashes.

On the plus side, Truex has been involved in only one wreck in his last eight starts at Talladega – yet another good sign coming into this weekend.

But Truex isn’t taking anything to chance, either.

“You know there’s a good chance you’re going to crash at Talladega,” Truex said. “That’s the way it is and that’s the way it’s always been. There’s not really a whole lot of point thinking about it too much.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Latest Posts
  1. NASCAR AMERICA: Analyzing the rule changes for 2015 (VIDEO)

    Sep 23, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Jamie McMurray AP

    NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell sits down with NBCSN’s Marty Snider to go over all the details.

  2. IndyCar: Helio, RHR, Pagenaud, Carpenter take part in tire test at IMS

    Sep 23, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Credit: Chris Jones/INDYCAR Credit: Chris Jones/INDYCAR

    Pagenaud reveals that he’s made his decision on where he’ll drive in next year’s Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

  3. Rodolfo Gonzalez, ex-Marussia test driver, samples Coyne’s IndyCar

    Sep 23, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Caterham GP2 driver Gonzalez of Venezuela attends an official F1 test session at the Mugello race track Reuters

    Rodolfo Gonzalez tests for Dale Coyne Racing in IndyCar.

  4. NASCAR AMERICA Minute: A quiet start to Chase for Jimmie Johnson (VIDEO)

    Sep 23, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 - Qualifying Getty Images

    NASCAR AMERICA discusses how the defending Sprint Cup champion has been flying under the radar in the early stages of the postseason.

  5. Report: Grand jury now hearing testimony in Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. case

    Sep 23, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    NASCAR New Hampshire Auto Racing AP

    A local media report states that one of the drivers who raced with Stewart and Ward during the Aug. 9 race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park has been called to testify.

  6. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA breaks down 2015 rules package at 5 p.m. ET

    Sep 23, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    Jimmie Johnson AP

    Coming up today: An interview with NASCAR executive VP Steve O’Donnell; Jeff Burton on what kind of racing the new rules package will produce; the New Hampshire edition of “Scan All 43″; and why is Jimmie Johnson driving a tank?

  7. NASCAR: Chase clinch scenarios for Sunday’s race at Dover

    Sep 23, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT

    Jimmie Johnson, your Dover winner from this past June, needs to finish 24th or better Sunday to move on to the Contender Round of the Chase. Photo: AP AP

    Where does everyone in the Chase besides Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have to finish Sunday in order to go to the next round?

  8. IMSA’s points standings get shaken up in Texas

    Sep 23, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    CGRpostCOTA Getty Images

    Points shift after second-to-last IMSA weekend of 2014 in Austin.

  9. Everything you need to know about the 2014 Chasers at Dover

    Sep 23, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Nick Wass) AP

    All the notes and numbers to keep in mind going into Sunday’s Challenger Round finale.

  10. 2015 Sprint Cup rules to feature reduced testing, less horsepower

    Sep 23, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT

    Pocono 400 Getty Images

    NASCAR’s top series is set to experience multiple changes next season.

  11. Reports: Ryan Truex will not return to BK Racing after missing New Hampshire

    Sep 23, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

    Toyota/Save Mart 350 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Truex has suffered eight DNFs in 2014 while driving BK’s No. 83 Toyota Camry.

  12. Report: Korea aiming for 2016 F1 return with night street race in Seoul

    Sep 23, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Korea - Race Getty Images

    Formula One dropped the Korean Grand Prix at Yeongam last year after several seasons of bad attendance and money loss.

  13. Martin Brundle delivers brilliant comeback to Christian Horner’s dig (VIDEO)

    Sep 23, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Previews Getty Images

    Martin Brundle’s retort to Christian Horner a great bit of levity from Singapore.

  14. COTA: A circuit to behold from the passenger’s seat

    Sep 23, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    Photo: Tony DiZinno Photo: Tony DiZinno

    Not that we needed further evidence that Circuit of the Americas is awesome, but riding shotgun with Dindo Capello in Audi provides us said further evidence.

  15. Mike Conway sorting out 2015 open-wheel/sports car plans

    Sep 23, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

    ConwayTOR2 Getty Images

    Mike Conway is operating from a position of strength as he looks to continue open-wheel/sports car balance into 2015.

  16. IndyCar driver presence returns for this year’s Petit Le Mans

    Sep 23, 2014, 9:48 AM EDT

    GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma - Day 3 Getty Images

    Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Briscoe, Bourdais set for Petit Le Mans appearances.

  17. NASCAR AMERICA: Team Penske pushing for incredible season (VIDEO)

    Sep 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano AP

    They’ve already got the IndyCar title. But can Team Penske claim the Sprint Cup as well this season?

  18. NASCAR AMERICA: The evolution of Joey Logano (VIDEO)

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 Getty Images

    It hasn’t always been easy for Logano since he broke into the Sprint Cup Series in 2009. But there’s no disputing that the kid once known as “Sliced Bread” (as in, greatest thing since) has grown up.

  19. NASCAR: Penske, Roush Fenway squads test at Texas Motor Speedway

    Sep 22, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Credit: Texas Motor Speedway Credit: Texas Motor Speedway

    Two teams on the opposite ends of the Chase spectrum head for the Lone Star State.

  20. Red Bull GRC: Ken Block, Joni Wiman now the ones to beat in title race

    Sep 22, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    A wild doubleheader in Los Angeles has left Block with an 18-point edge over Wiman as the series heads for Seattle.

Video from NASCAR America

The evolution of Joey Logano
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. B. Keselowski (1746)
  2. J. Gordon (1229)
  3. C. Custer (1156)
  4. K. Harvick (1133)
  5. B. Myers (1120)