If he’s said it once, Martin Truex Jr. has said it a million times in 2015, both about how his Sprint Cup season has played out, as well becoming the slogan of the battle with ovarian cancer his girlfriend has gone through.
On Sunday, Truex said it one more time after advancing to Round 3 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the furthest he’s ever advanced in the Chase in his career.
“Never give up,” Truex said after finishing seventh in the race. It was Truex’s 20th top-10 finish of the season (in 32 races), a career best.
The deck was stacked against Truex somewhat coming into Sunday’s race. He started from the back of the field, fell a lap down and was bottled up in the back third of the pack early in the race.
But persistence to get back on the lead lap on Lap 130 and the fact the race went into eight additional laps of overtime paved the way for Truex’s strong finish.
He now heads into the first race of Round 3 of the Chase tied with his seven other remaining playoff counterparts, each with 4,000 points apiece.
“I felt like I was on the seesaw today,” Truex said. “It’s crazy how fast things can change and how much is out of your control.
“We were sitting there riding a lap down for about 100 laps thinking that we were going to need something special to get back on the lead lap and have a fighting chance.
“Then we got a caution while being in the lucky dog position. When we got back on the lead lap we were back in the game. It was still nerve-wracking down to the end.
“But we made it to the next round and I can’t say enough about this team, led by our crew chief Cole Pearn. If people underestimate us, that’s ok. But I never underestimate this team. There’s too much talent with plenty of fight.”