Martin Truex Jr. looks on at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. (HHP/Jacy Norgaard)

Truex Believes Consistent Start Will Payoff 

Through the first eight races of the NASCAR Cup Series season, Martin Truex Jr. has been one of the most consistent drivers in the garage.

While he’s yet to visit victory lane, the pace out of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has been apparent.

Five straight top-10 finishes prior to last week’s race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway proved the team’s capabilities. 

Despite Martinsville breaking the team’s streak (18th), the 2017 Cup Series champion is confident in the consistency he’s used to rank second in the standings.

“I feel good about where we are at. We’ve had a top-three to top-five car every week, every race, with the exception of Martinsville last week,” Truex said. “We haven’t quite capitalized on that over the course of some of these races, some of it in our control and other stuff that just hasn’t worked out. We’ve been really consistent.”

Two weeks ago at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Truex led a race-high 228 laps before teammate Denny Hamlin’s pit crew got the better of the No. 19 team in the pits prior to an overtime restart. 

Hamlin won the race in controversial fashion due to jumping the final restart. 

Martin Truex Jr. led a race-high 228 laps during the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. (HHP/Jim Fluharty)

Truex admitted the team has struggled on pit stops, however, he’s remaining optimistic. 

“We’ve been working on cleaning up some mistakes in several areas, I know the guys have been busting their tails working on pit stops,” Truex said. “If we can clean that up a bit and they can get some confidence and get consistently fast – our cars are great and the team is doing a great job – and clicking and working hard, and hopefully we can get our first win of the season here really soon. 

“We have had some fast cars at a lot of these places.”

This weekend at Texas Motor Speedway is another opportunity for Truex and the No. 19 team to showcase their speed. Truex is winless in 34 starts at the 1.5-mile race track.

“It’s been a few different things over the years,” Truex said. “It’s always been a good track for us. In 2022, we were leading and we blew a tire. It’s been one of those places where we have been snakebit a lot. We’ve had some good runs, we’ve had some struggles at times since they repaved it.”

He feels that despite a string of bad luck at Texas in the past few years, the team can capitalize on its strong pace.

“Just one of those things, but I feel confident going there with what we have that we’ll run well, especially how we ran there the last couple of years,” Truex said. “It’s been tough, we’ve gotten a lot of poles there and led a lot of laps but we just haven’t been able to win there. 

“We just have to go there and I think we have a great shot to win with our Bass Pro Shops Camry.”