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Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing - Q&A

There is a lot of people that - I don't think I can articulate how important it is for us to get NAPA to victory lane. You know, they've been with me since 2001 when I drove for Dale, and we haven't had them to victory lane since 2003. You talk about Martin's breaking a losing streak; NAPA broke one bigger than that.

Michael Waltrip Racing exists because of some key cornerstone partners. One is NAPA; one is Aaron's; obviously Toyota is the reason why I have a team; and then to have 5-hour Energy join us and let us bring on Clint, that made our team better.

It's just really special to get a win for Martin and for NAPA. We knew - I believe in this man. He can drive a car as good as anybody on the track. Chad is new to the crew chiefing game. He joined as an engineer and he's worked his way up, and he called the perfect race today, and he's been on his game all year long.

It's really fun to see these two mature, and I think they can do a lot of special things over the next few years.

Q:
Martin, since you won that race at Dover you've had several heart-breaking losses, Atlanta, Kansas are the first ones that come to my mind. When you had the big lead today and you got 10, 15 laps to go, any negatives try to creep into your brain at all throughout those final laps?

Michael Waltrip:
No way. He's a different Martin. He said I'm going to burn these babies down.

Martin Truex Jr.:
I did. I was like, I don't care what happens. It don't matter. If caution comes out, that's the way it is, we're just going to have to beat them. But I was a little nervous about a caution.

But I just tried to focus and run laps at the speed that we needed to run, and Chad is really good about telling me how fast I need to run, and he was trying to get me to save a little fuel, and so he told me the lead I had and what the guy behind me was running, and I just tried to run a little bit faster than the guy behind me and make sure I was not burning my tires up in case we had a caution.

I kind of thought I had the chances. I thought we were going get one. But fortunately it worked out.

Q:
Chad, same question to you: You've been there, almost there so many times with this team. Your thoughts on the final laps?

Chad Johnson:
Yeah, surprisingly enough I really wasn't too nervous at all. At that point you kind of made your bed, so you've just got to hope things go your way. If they do, great; if not, you've done your 100 per cent that you can to put it in position to win, so you've just got to hope that they do.

These things aren't easy to win. Every week there's 43 guys out there that are capable of winning, so they're not easy to win by any means, and everything has to go right for it to happen, and today the stars aligned and it went right.

Q:
Martin, along those same lines, now that something didn't go wrong when you were in position to win, do you think that that will -

Martin Truex Jr.:
Hallelujah.

Q:
Do you think that will help you mentally in the future, like if you're in this position again and you're not necessarily expecting it, that you know things can go right?

Martin Truex Jr.:



Related Pictures

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Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23, 2013 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23, 2013 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23, 2013 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23, 2013 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, qualified for fourth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Newman is 9th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, won the Pole position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. It was Harvick`s sixth pole win of the 2014 season. He is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick (L), driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, talks to Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer Bowl Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart at Dover International Speedway on May 30 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR Media)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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