Connect with us

NASCAR Cup Series

Martin Truex Jr. Determined for Indy Win

Martin Truex Jr. pursues his first Indianapolis Cup win of any kind on Sunday. (Photo: Maddie Skidan | The Podium Finish)

Martin Truex Jr. pursues his first Indianapolis Cup win of any kind on Sunday. (Photo: Maddie Skidan | The Podium Finish)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – As the season progresses, Martin Truex Jr. and his No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry team are on the prowl.

Following an uncharacteristic 22nd at Nashville, Truex has made strides with finishes of 13th at Road America, 11th at Atlanta, fourth at New Hampshire and seventh at Pocono.

Now, the 42-year-old Mayetta, New Jersey native has climbed from seventh to fifth in the regular season points standings. Certainly, the four-time road course winner hopes to add to his victory total ahead of Sunday’s Verizon 200 at Indianapolis (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

“Indianapolis is a challenging and very unique racetrack,” Truex said in a team press release. “Hopefully, we can go there and be better than we were at Road America.

“I feel like we’ve gotten a little bit better at each road course so far this year. We definitely feel like we’re gaining on it, and we need to make another couple steps in the right direction to have a shot this weekend.”

After qualifying 25th for Sunday’s race, Truex considered the significance of winning at Indianapolis. One of the hot topics is the prestige of winning at the renowned speedway, particularly if success at the oval, rectangular layout carries more weight than the road course.

Needless to say, Truex cherishes the possibility of winning on Sunday as he considered the difficulty level of the 2.439-mile road course.

"Indianapolis is Indianapolis." - Martin Truex Jr. (Photo: Maddie Skidan | The Podium Finish)

“Indianapolis is Indianapolis.” – Martin Truex Jr. (Photo: Maddie Skidan | The Podium Finish)

“Some guys say no. Some guys say yea. I think for me, Indianapolis is Indianapolis,” he observed after qualifying. “I think it’s it’s huge to… it’d be huge to be able to win here. And certainly, I think for each series, it may be different as well.

“I think it’s probably harder to win here on the road course than it is on the oval. So for us, I think it’s still a pretty big feather in your cap.”

Last year, Truex started sixth before relegating to a 15th place result. Like Kyle Larson, Truex has his work cut out for him starting deep in the field from 25th.

However, Truex has familiarity around him at the Joe Gibbs Racing campus. He’s got rapport with crew chief James Small and he’s driving one of the top rides in all of Cup racing.

For a young man who emerged from his father’s successful career racing in the Northeast, Truex continues to add to his inspirational legacy.

Similarly, he doesn’t have to look far for motivation as his paint scheme is honor of his foundation and Sherry Strong, an initiative born from his longtime girlfriend, Sherry, and her battles with ovarian cancer.

Like the love of his life, Truex is a fighter who appreciates each day. Ahead of a special race at one of the most venerable speedways in the world, Truex reflected on his journey, reassuring fans he’s still got more pages to add to his storied career.

"I never dreamed I'd be able to accomplish things I have." - Truex on his racing career. (Photo: Cayden Rush | The Podium Finish)

“I never dreamed I’d be able to accomplish things I have.” – Truex on his racing career. (Photo: Cayden Rush | The Podium Finish)

“Just the opportunity to make living through racing,” he mused. “When I was growing up racing, I never dreamed I’d be able to accomplish things I have.

“Winning the championship and winning a bunch of races and big races, it’s been just unbelievable to work with some great teams and great people and make a lot of friendships and gain a lot of fans along the way as well, rooting for us. So, it’s been an amazing and I feel very, very lucky to get to do this.”

Editor’s Notes

Stephen Conley contributed to this feature on-site from Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes. From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing. Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat. Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Journalism at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's an everywhere kind of man residing in Texas.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in NASCAR Cup Series