Something’s gotta give for Martin Truex Jr.
Truex enters this weekend’s Cup race at Martinsville Speedway on a quiet hot streak. In the four races since the Daytona 500, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has alternated runner-up finishes at Atlanta and Phoenix, along with eighth-place finishes at Las Vegas and Fontana this past Sunday.
Dating back to the 2018 season finale in Miami Truex has three runner-up finishes in the last six races.
Truex has also placed in the top five nine times since he last won in July at Kentucky Speedway (22 races).
But there’s a good chance Truex can improve his fortunes this weekend with the return to the half-mile track in Martinsville, Virginia.
Truex has top-five finishes in his previous three visits to Martinsville. You may remember the most recent one in October.
Truex started 33rd after his car failed inspection and slowly climbed his way to the front, eventually leading 18 laps. It ended in a riveting duel with Joey Logano over the last few laps and Logano executing a bump-and-run on Truex in the final turn on the last lap.
Truex finished third.
“We’ve certainly got some unfinished business going into Martinsville this weekend,” Truex said in a press release. “It’s a place that wasn’t one of my favorites early in my career, but the last few years, I feel like I’ve really started to get a handle on it.”
Somehow, some way Truex is seeking not only his first Martinsville victory, but his first short-track win in 79 attempts in the Cup Series.
Martinsville has been the short track Truex has come closest to getting a win at. He’s crashed out of the last two races at Bristol and in his last 10 starts there he’s led in just one.
He’s had winning cars at Richmond, but a combination of wrecks and issues on pit road have prevented him from winning after leading more than 675 laps in four of his last five starts there.
So with Truex seeking redemption on multiple fronts with a win – which would be his first for JGR – maybe Martinsville arrived just in time.
“It would mean a lot to win (at Martinsville), especially after how the last race there ended up,” Truex said. “I’m confident that we’ll have a fast SiriusXM Camry this weekend and be right there to have a shot at the end of the race.”