Martin Truex Jr. has been the dominant driver this season, and now the Mayetta, New Jersey native enters Texas with a chance to punch his ticket to Homestead and he doesn’t even have to win.
Playoff points Truex earned in the regular season set Truex Jr. with this opportunity along with a strong showing in the first race of the round of eight at Martinsville. A second place finish last weekend put Truex with a 67 point cushion over the cut-off line. Should he leave Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday with a 60 point margin over the cut-off line, he will mathematically clinch a spot in the championship four at Homestead in two weeks.
“There are now seven drivers fighting for those three remaining Championship 4 spots,” stated Truex in the team release. “We’ve had good runs at Texas in the past, but have not closed the deal there. First and foremost, we want to have a strong race at Texas and acquire as many points as we can. Until a NASCAR official tells me we have mathematically clinched a final-four berth we aren’t taking anything for granted. This is racing and a lot of strange things can happen.”
On top of clinching a spot Truex looks to continue his 1.5-mile track domination. He’s won six of the nine races this season on 1.5-mile tracks this season. In the other three races, his worse finish was eighth. Earlier this season at Texas, he led 49 laps and finished eighth. Sunday will be his 25th race at the Texas Motor Speedway, he has a best finish of second back in 2013 and a best start of first twice (Nov. 2007 & Apr. 2012).
“We like going to Texas and feel we can run well there,” said Truex. “But just because we’ve had some pretty good success at mile-and-a-half tracks, there’s no guarantee of achieving similar results. We have to go out there and prove ourselves again.”