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Martin Truex Jr. Having Most Fun in NASCAR in Year and a Half

Martin Truex Jr. Having Most Fun in NASCAR in Year and a Half

by February 15, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Following a strong runner-up in Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. says that he’s having the most fun he’s had behind the wheel of a stock car in about ‘a year and a half.’

Truex Jr. posted the highest driver rating (125.6) of the 25 drivers entered for the 75-lap exhibition and led four times for 29 laps on the way to his second-place finish to winner Matt Kenseth.

In comparison to his year-long performance last season, the driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet looked completely rejuvenated last night with the amount of time he spent in the lead. Last year, Truex Jr. led only lap in competition, his lowest total in any of his nine full-time seasons at the Sprint Cup level.

As Truex Jr. puts it, last night was the most fun he’s had in quite some time in the Sprint Cup Series.

“Honestly, it was the most fun I’ve had in a racecar in quite some time, probably about a year and a half,” Truex Jr. said. “Just proud of my team.  Proud of everybody at Furniture Row.  Everybody back in Denver at the shop that put the car together.

“Just felt really good to be out there, you know, leading laps and mixing it up with the guys up front all night long, especially after the last year and a half being pretty rough.  It was pretty awesome to get out there, get back in the car tonight, [and] have a whole bunch of fun.”

The two-time Sprint Cup race winner and two-time XFINITY Series champion points to the nature of last night’s race as part of what provided a lot of excitement for himself.

In recent history, the field in the Sprint Unlimited would ride around for dozens of laps in preparation for an all-out assault towards the front of the field for the finish. Last night, the gameplan amongst the 25 competitors from the drop of the green flag appeared to be ‘attack, attack, attack.’

The fact that no points were up for grabs last night also contributed to the nonstop action (or mayhem, if you prefer) on Saturday.

“That’s what made it fun,” Truex Jr. explained.  “Why? Because there’s no points on the line. Everybody’s just out there to win. That’s the only thing that matters.

“Nobody is going to remember next year that I finished second in this race.  So that’s kind of the mentality of everyone that goes out there. There’s a lot of things we can build off of as a team.  But at the end of the day, it’s all about winning.  That’s why everybody runs that hard all night long.”

After a woeful 2014, Truex Jr’s strong run in the Unlimited gives the Mayetta, N.J. native hope that both himself and his Furniture Row Racing team have a strong 2015 laying ahead of them.

“It’s been miserable for a while,” Truex Jr. said of his previous season in Cup. “Last year was a tough year for us, on and off the racetrack. It’s just been fun to come to the racetrack.  If we can come to the racetrack and know we’re going to have cars like that every week, that’s a dream come true for me.

“This is the most fun I’ve had in a racecar since 2013.  I just can’t thank all the guys on our team enough, all the guys that stuck behind me and worked hard, brought us a race car like we had here tonight.

“Hopefully we can continue that not only tonight, but throughout the season.”

Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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