CONCORD, N.C. – Following the conclusion of the first round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs last Sunday at Dover Int’l Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. said he is “feeling good” about where his Furniture Row Racing team is at as they chase a championship together.
And, if it wasn’t clear enough following his win in the playoff opener at Chicagoland Speedway last month, Truex has facts to back up his optimistic feeling.
For starters, Truex enters the Round of 12 as the points leader, carrying an 18-point margin over second place Kyle Busch.
He is also coming off a series-best three-race finishing average of 3.3, with no results outside the top-five in the opening round.
Also high on the optimism chart is the fact that two of the three races in the second playoff round will be at 1.5-mile tracks, the configuration where Truex has been at his strongest all season long.
Four of his five wins this year have come at mile-and-a-half tracks – Las Vegas, Kansas, Kentucky and Chicagoland.
And with his recent success at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile quad-oval, Truex couldn’t ask for a better venue to kick off the second playoff round.
In his last five races at Charlotte, Truex has a victory (2016 Coca-Cola 600), four top-five finishes and a total of 756 laps led during that span.
Kansas, the third race of the second round, is another 1.5-miler where Truex has had past success. He won there in May with a strong performance.
All of that has Truex believing his blue No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota will have a strong chance of ending Sunday’s Bank of America 500 in victory lane.
“I am definitely looking forward to Charlotte and Kansas,” said Truex, who has set career season highs for wins, top-fives and laps led this year. “A win would be great at either one of those tracks, but we just need to be consistent, be among the leaders fighting for the win and picking up those valuable stage points as well as playoff points.
“And then there’s Talladega (the second race in the Round of 12). Anything can happen there. It’s a wild card race. We have not had much success there lately, but if we can avoid the wrecks and mechanical issues we should be okay. It’s a crazy race that can either make or break you from entering the next round of the playoffs.”
CREDIT: Furniture Row Racing