24 June 2013
Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing - Q&A
After winning his first Cup race since 2007, Martin Truex Jr. spoke to the media at Sonoma Raceway along with his crew chief Chad Johnson and car owner Michael Waltrip.
Here's what the winner of Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sears Point, California had to say about his victory - his second Cup win, coming six years and 218 races after the first.
He was joined in the media centre by the crew chief of the #56 Michael Waltrip Racing car Chad Johnson, and also by the car owner Michael Waltrip himself.
Tell everybody about your run out there.
Martin Truex Jr.:
Well, obviously I'm ecstatic. I think I told Sherry last night I'm a little bit nervous about today because I've come here and run very well really ever since I've been driving the NAPA car, we've been really fast and raced really well. I think every single year we've gotten spun out at some point, probably late in the race, and when we were up front. So today I was a little bit nervous going in, but after the first 15 or 20 laps of the race we settled in and the car really came around, came to me, and I think we made one adjustment on air pressure in the first pit stop, and from there on out the car was phenomenal all day long, and I was able to really settle in and focus on hitting my marks. The pit strategy obviously worked out perfectly. We were able to get some track position, and once I was near the front and didn't have to run the car 110 percent I could run 99, 100 per cent, it just would stay with me in the long runs so good, and I just was able to drive away from pretty much anyone.
Just proud of Chad and proud of my team and so happy to get NAPA into victory lane. This means so much to me. They've stood behind me for the first three years of our deal, and I can't even tell you they've been such huge supporters or ours and so has Michael and Rob and TRD and everybody that makes this deal happen. I'm just so proud today, I'm able to put Chad and all my guys in victory lane because they work so hard and they do such a great job and there's been countless times where they deserved to win the race and for some reason it just didn't happen. That's the biggest thing about today, just proud to get all those folks into victory lane. Obviously for me it's just - you know, it's quite a relief to be honest. I don't know what else to say. Just a special, special day for me. It was a lot of fun today.
Today's winning crew chief Chad Johnston is also with us. You finally got that win. Tell us how your day went.
Like Martin said, we didn't have the practice that we wanted Friday. We didn't feel real confident that the car was where we needed it to be. And obviously we had our issues in qualifying and the guys did a great job of replacing all the wiring in the car from an incident in qualifying.
It's typical road course racing. You set your strategy before the race and you stick to it. But you've kind of got to adapt as the cautions come out and you make the decisions based on information you have and hope the cautions fall your way, and today they did.
It's an awesome feeling to get all the guys that work on this NAPA Toyota into victory lane. There's not a better bunch of guys in the garage. I wouldn't replace any of them with anybody in the garage. It's nice to get them, get NAPA, get Martin back in victory lane, and it's just a good day.
We also have our team owner Michael Waltrip. That's back-to-back Sonoma wins here for you. Tell us about your weekend.
It's been great. I was real confident that Martin would run well today. I've just seen him run on this track, and he understands how to get around here as good as anyone. So I've been confident all week coming here about how we'd perform.
I just checked my phone, I have 68 messages from people, and the last one was from one of our employees back in North Carolina, Bobby Kennedy. He's been with me since 2000 building cars, and he said I might be late tomorrow. (Laughter.)
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