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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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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