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

I had a special moment today when I got to lean in to Martin and see him crying over winning because that's how important this thing we do is. So it took me back to 2001, and while that was a really tough day, it was also a special day for me because I've learned something over the years. If I'm running third in the Daytona 500 and Clint and Martin are going off to win and that's the end of my road, just know I went away happy. That's how I live with what happened to Dale is he was watching me and Dale Jr. go do what we did, and he's like, this is a pretty damned good day.

I hate to bum up the moment, but damn, it was really special for me to see Martin today.

Q:
Martin talked a little bit about how he remained pretty calm towards the end, not worrying about a caution. How about you? Were you watching the monitor? There was some action behind him over the last five or ten laps.

Chad Johnson:
Not so much watched the monitor but listened to the scanner feed from NASCAR. When there's going to be a caution they start talking about it, so there was people chattering and people calling in cautions, but typically you can look at the scoring monitor and find out what's real and what's not based on who's coming out of the debris. Like you said, you made your bed, so at that point it was what it was. We pitted and topped off with fuel, and I had already made the decision that no matter what we weren't coming back. So you just had to hope that it went your way, and if it does, great, and if not, you've got to find a way to overcome it.

Q:
Martin, it's your birthday this coming week?

Martin Truex Jr.:
Next Saturday in Kentucky.

Q:
How are you guys going to celebrate this one?

Martin Truex Jr.:
That's a good question. Yeah, probably win Kentucky. We'll worry about my birthday next week because we race Saturday night, too, so we race on my birthday next week.

Celebrate? Heck, I don't know, we've got a long flight home. I'm going to find me a cooler to stock. Already done, see? I got some friends riding home with me tonight, and I don't know. I'm not sure. Big party at my house tomorrow, I guess. I don't know. I'm not sure. I haven't done this in a while. I used to do this a lot, right? But I'm kind of out of practice, so I need to get back home and figure it out.

I'm sure my phone is just completely blown up right now with text messages and phone calls and all that stuff, so I can't wait to go get it and see who - I can't wait to call my mom and dad and see who's texting me.

Michael Waltrip:
I guess I'd better text you.

Martin Truex Jr.:
You're right here. You're right next to me, so you don't have to text me. We already talked.

Q:
Martin, obviously it was an emotional win - whose goblet is that by the way?

Martin Truex Jr.:
I don't know. It's ours.

Michael Waltrip:
We have a rule if someone has something that someone else likes, we just get another one. I wanted that trophy a year ago because it was really cool.

Q:
Obviously it was an emotional win. What were your thoughts when you took the checkered flag and the cool-down lap? What was going through your mind?

Martin Truex Jr.:
I don't even know. I was like - I was a frigging mess. Seriously, it was terrible. I had to stop and start doing donuts because I couldn't think about what I was doing. I tried to cue the radio once and I couldn't even talk. I thought, okay, I'm going to do some donuts and wave to the fans. But after I stopped the first time and did that, I calmed down a little bit and I just wanted to make sure I took my time coming back because I remember at Dover it all happens way too fast. You never know when you're going to get that opportunity again.

So I made sure I at least destroyed both my rear tires, took my time and waved to everybody, got the checkered flag and came back slow. I told them on the radio, if they're waiting on me, too bad, I'm taking my time. That's the only thing I thought of after I got it together. But when I first crossed the line I just was screaming. I don't even know what I was saying on the radio. No idea.




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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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