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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)
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