Martin Truex Jr. would like to remain with Furniture Row Racing, but negotiations on a new contract have not begun yet he said Wednesday.
“I would like to, honestly,” Truex said in a conference call with reporters. “We haven’t really talked about (a new contract). With the team we’re building … it just seems like this is the kind of situation I’ve really looked for my whole career.”
“The guys have just done such a great job, they’re so good at what they’re doing and we have such a great group, I feel like this team is special. You look over the years at Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson and the team they’ve built, and what (Jeff) Gordon did with (Ray) Evernham back in the day, this team has that feel.
“It’s just special and they’re doing special things, building great race cars, making good decisions. They’re making it really easy for me to do my job. Honestly, it’s so relaxed and so much fun that I want to do everything I can to keep this group together and I think there’s so much more we can do.”
ESPN.com reported that Truex is in the second year of a two-year contract.
Having lost his ride with Michael Waltrip Racing when NAPA pulled its sponsorship at the end of 2013, Truex succeeded Kurt Busch at Furniture Row in 2014, after the latter moved to Stewart-Haas Racing.
Truex’s first season with the team was one he’d probably wants to forget, placing 24th in points with one top five and five top-10 finishes.
On the other hand, 2015 has been unforgettable thus far.
In the first 14 races, Truex has one win, four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. He’s spent the last five weeks second in the points.
One of the biggest changes is new crew chief Cole Pearn, who earned his first Cup win last weekend at Pocono when Truex earned his third career series win.
“When Cole and I started working together, it was like we’d done it for years,” Truex said. “He’s obviously a guy you’re going to hear about here for a long time.
“That’s the kind of relationship you need as a driver to be successful, to be consistently successful, because it’s easy to have a couple of good weeks and then fall off the radar.
“A lot of guys early in the season will say, ‘Yeah, that’s a good start for them, but let’s see where it goes.’ Now, I think we’ve proved we’re here to stay and we’re going to be here for a while, and hopefully that’s the case.”
Truex also talked to reporters at Darlington Raceway during a break in testing and discussed the team’s hopes to be more than a single-car operation.
For now, it appears things will remain status quo, along with maintaining the technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing and ECR Engines.
“It’s kind of a little insight into what the team wants to do down the road,” Truex said of expansion. “We’re not talking this year or next year, maybe (not) even the year after that.
“I think it’s more that the team wants to show that they plan to be here for a long time. They want to prove that they’re just not going to up and leave in a couple of years. That just shows their commitment to the sport.
“I think that’s a great thing. I think that’s something that could appeal to some sponsorship and try to get some companies on board with our race team and really just building for the future. I think (team owner Barney Visser) plans on doing this for a long, long time.”
As quickly as Sunday’s win came, Truex also knows it’s now history. He can’t stop or feel comfortable.
“You never look back when you’re not doing well and it’s the same principle when everything is going right – you always need to keep the focus on what’s ahead,” Truex said. “We had our celebration on Sunday in Pocono, but now it’s back to the drawing board and making sure we keep on improving.
“I feel like we’re still learning, we’re still getting better, still learning each other some. To see what this team has accomplished so early in the season has been amazing. And for sure it’s something I’d like to keep going for a long time.”
And he also optimistic negotiations on a new deal with Furniture Row Racing start moving forward.
“I hope so,” Truex said. “I’m ready to go.”