If Martin Truex Jr. were to win Sunday at Watkins Glen International (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC), he’d do something that hasn’t been accomplished in the Cup Series since 2005.
A card-carrying member of this season’s “Big 3” with Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, Truex will try to defend his win in last year’s race at the road course in Watkins Glen, New York.
A trip to victory lane would be his third consecutive on a road course after he won in June at Sonoma Raceway.
The last driver to claim three consecutive road course wins was Tony Stewart.
Stewart’s trifecta began in 2004 when he won at Watkins Glen. He then followed that up with wins in 2005 at Sonoma and again at WGI.
Like Stewart in 2005, Truex enters Watkins Glen with four wins on the season. That trails the six wins by Busch and Harvick.
“I raced go karts on road courses and always had fun learning the challenges of road racing,” said Truex in a press release. “I can remember the first time I raced at Watkins Glen. It was in a Busch North Series car. It took a while to figure out the track – it was crazy. I kept asking myself ‘How are these guys going so fast around here?’
“I have a lot of years of experience racing at the Glen. And right now I am with a great team which gives me all the pieces to be able to win races at different tracks. Hopefully we can go to the Glen this weekend and do it again. We know that a good qualifying spot is key. Starting up front sets the tone for the race.”
Starting from the front row hasn’t resulted in a winner at WGI since 2008 (Busch).
What is working in Truex’s favor?
For one, he’s finished every lap in all 12 career starts at The Glen.
Second, he’s led the most laps in the last three road course races. Last year, he led 25 laps at Sonoma before an engine issue knocked him out. He then led 24 laps at WGI and 62 laps this year at Sonoma.
Truex would be the sixth driver to ever win three consecutive road course races. That includes Stewart, Tim Richmond, Rusty Wallace and David Pearson.
Another driver won three straight but then doubled it. Jeff Gordon holds the all-time mark with six consecutive road course victories.
A victory in Sunday’s race would also tie Truex with Busch for four career wins on road courses, which leads active drivers.
Going back to 2005, Truex is trying do something else Stewart achieved that season.
Win his second Cup title.