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

You can't explain the feeling. When it's been that long and you worked so hard and you've been so close and so many things have just - when you think at times, man, is this ever going to happen again, it's just - you can't explain the feeling. It's pretty surreal. Unbelievable.

Q:
This question is for Chad: Martin said earlier that when he's on the radio he's yes, sir, no, sir, right now. Chad, how are you going to keep his ego under control now that he's won?

Chad Johnson:
First off, if you've tuned in any time, it's not always yes, sir, no, sir. It's what did you do that for. But no, I don't have to worry about it. He knows what he's here to do as well as all of us. It's to come here and go to the racetrack every week and win every week. I told him my goal is to make him win so much that people didn't like him. That's what we're out to do.

Michael Waltrip:
Well, you're off to a bad start.

Chad Johnson:
Yeah, I know.

Martin Truex Jr.:
There's still a lot of people that don't like me.

Q:
Chad, the setup yesterday was hotter, and today it was cold, and then you had a little bit of rain. How did you handle the setup?

Chad Johnson:
We talked about that this morning. I've never raced in Sonoma when it's been overcast and cool, it's usually hot and slick. It was hot and slick Friday during practice, so I really didn't know which way it was going to go. I kind of anticipated that it was going to have more grip and he was going to drive it harder and it was going to get slicker faster, but he did a really good job of managing his tires and keeping his tires on it. We knew before we ever came here that that was going to be the determining factor of who was going to win the race, was who maintained their tires the best and who kept their car in good shape for the end of it for a late caution that we didn't get.

There really wasn't much difference. We knew what our trouble areas were and we knew we made some adjustments after Friday to try to fix those for yesterday, but we were kind of smoked out so we really didn't know what we had during qualifying. But he did a good job of making the lap that he did even though there was smoke billowing out of it. We just made the normal adjustments and tried to anticipate it the best we could. We didn't have any data to go off of because we've never raced in Sonoma when it's cool and overcast.

Martin Truex Jr.:
We used swag, mojo, scientific wild-ass guess. (Laughter.)

Chad Johnson:
Yeah, I use those a lot.

Q:
Michael, you talked about it's not always easy to put a team together. Michael Waltrip Racing is a complete team. What has been your plan to make it so?

Michael Waltrip:
I was just real fortunate that when I started a team I had - I was more of an entrepreneurial visionary kind of guy, and after about two months of racing with me sort of in charge, we were out of money, and it wasn't looking good. I met Rob Kauffman, and Rob is my co-owner. We're partners at Michael Waltrip Racing, and he's a genius in the business world and understands how to run a business properly. We partnered together, and since he showed up in '07 until today, we're best buddies.

He is the key to our survival. And between me and him, we came up with a plan in early '11 of how we were going to make our cars better, and it meant some changes at MWR, but our plan was solid, and with the support of Toyota we made our cars better and gave him a chance to do what he's doing now.

It's a partnership in the truest form, and Rob does a lot of things really well that I don't know how to do, and I do a couple things really well that he lets me do. I'm really thankful for Rob because without Rob my dream would have ended before y'all ever would have known that we had the potential to do what we've done.

Q:
Congratulations, Martin and Chad and Michael. Thank you, guys.

Transcript courtesy NASCAR. FastScripts by ASAP Sports



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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