Following an eighth-place run in the Daytona 500, Martin Truex Jr. kept up his hard work to put a hellish 2014 season behind him Sunday.
Truex finished sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He’s up to fifth in the Sprint Cup standings – the highest that any Furniture Row Racing driver has ever been.
“We started to gain a little bit of momentum last year towards the end of the year,” Truex said of he and his team’s resurgence. “We started to figure out kind of what our issues were. We really only had one race car that we could run good with or was consistent throughout our whole weekend. We needed the off-season to get things revamped, get things built, implement things we thought we understood.
“Obviously, everything is working out so far pretty well. There’s definitely room for improvement, there always is. But I’m happy with the decisions that have been made. This is just a good start to the year for us again so we can start building on this, start building some consistency.
“If we can run towards the front each and every week, we’ll put ourselves in position to win some races.”
Truex himself has not won a race since Sonoma in 2013, which snapped a 218-race winless streak. Furniture Row Racing has not won since Regan Smith (now a full-time driver in the Xfinity Series) pulled the upset in the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington.
Going back to today’s race at Atlanta, Truex indicated that his No. 78 Chevrolet was not as strong on the short runs, which meant the last caution with 20 laps to go didn’t help his cause.
Nonetheless, confidence is clearly growing for himself and his team.
“We had guys wrecking in front of us and getting loose in front of us and spinning their tires,” Truex said. “We had to pass a lot of cars all day. It seemed like it was the same guys all day long. In the end, we ended up in a good position. It was a good run for us.”