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

Well, I will never forget, and this was a special moment that happened today, when I leaned in the car to congratulate Martin, he had just come onto pit road, and I leaned in and there were tears in his eyes, and you could feel the elation and the joy and the relief.

And as I did that, it took me straight back to 2001 when I finally pulled into victory lane and was able to briefly celebrate what was the greatest racing day of my career. I saw all that same emotion and the same feeling in Martin. I'm glad I got to experience that, and it reminded me of a special day, and it made me really thankful that he was - you're looking at winners that are totally thankful that we're here, and while your questions might seem repetitive at times and some of them not that great - no offense - but if you could just keep asking them for a while we'll keep answering them because we love being here and we're really thankful that we're celebrating this win. Martin has got a beer and I've got a goblet.

Martin Truex Jr.:
We're not going anywhere.

Michael Waltrip:
If you've got any more questions, just let us know and we'll answer them.

Q:
Martin, it's so refreshing to have you in person and not on the cell phone this week.

Martin Truex Jr.:
Hey, thanks.

Q:
Anyway, did you learn anything from Clint going into this? Obviously with him winning the race last year, were there any notes that you could use off of that team and kind of work together for the strategy, this run today?

Martin Truex Jr.:
Absolutely, absolutely. Even as close as this weekend we talked about it a lot, and he helped me with a few things. I had a few questions for him about some shift points and a couple little things. There was a couple spots on the track in practice where he was really fast, and he definitely helped me out with that.

He's been such a great teammate since he's came to Michael Waltrip Racing. Him and Mark and Brian when he runs, even though it's very part-time, great teammates, Rodney Childers and all the #55 guys and Brian Pattie, all the #15 guys and our guys, they work together so great.

Last year we had a lot of new things come into Michael Waltrip Racing, but one thing, the biggest thing that helped us get to the Chase for the first time and win races and be competitive and almost have Clint challenge for the championship was teamwork. I'm very thankful for Clint and Mark and Brian and everybody that's been a part of our team for all the help that they've given me and vice versa. It's been so much fun to work with those guys.

Clint is obviously a character, but he's really good at what he does, and it's been really fun to lean on him and talk to him about racing and see his insight on how the races are going to play out before they even happen. So yeah, he was a big part of us winning today. He had a great car all weekend long, and we kind of went different directions on setup. He ran one and we ran the other, and obviously our setup and our pit strategy worked out a little bit better than his. But he was definitely a big part of this win today.

Michael Waltrip:
Yeah, and he was also probably the second-fastest car. He was really coming at the end. I'm glad Martin said that because there's tracks where Martin excels and Clint really leans on Martin to understand what he does, and there's places where Clint is really good and Martin does the same with Clint. They've helped each other. Our driver lineup at the beginning of 2012 with Mark Martin and Vickers and then Clint joining Martin Truex, it made us all better. It made Martin better because he's not, he ain't too proud to beg. He'll say what are you doing, how are you doing that? And it's really, really a fun thing to watch. As we get better and better, they just keep making each other better.

Q:
Martin, following up on that, what's been your comfort level on road courses? I know you've had a Nationwide win back at the old Mexico City track, and since then it's kind of been a mixed bag here. What's been your experience with road courses and how do you feel competing on them?

Martin Truex Jr.:
Well, I really enjoy them. I always have. I said earlier that I feel like I probably run consistently better here than Watkins Glen, even though Watkins Glen is my favorite road course - well, maybe not anymore. Since I started driving the NAPA car we've been really competitive here. We've been very fast. The past couple years every time we get up front, we run up front, we race up front all day, last year we were running second or third and the caution came out and then we got a bad restart, we got shuffled back to seventh or eighth and we got spun out, and the year before that we were running second or third and got spun out, the year before that we were -




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)
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