NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Ford 400
Topics: Ford 400
Martin Truex, Jr.
November 20, 2011
KERRY THARP: We welcome third‑place driver in the Ford 400 at Homestead‑Miami Speedway, Martin Truex, Jr. You told us you were going to be in here after the race, you had a fast racecar, talk about your run out here today.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: Yeah, it was‑‑ running good and having a solid race. The guys on pit road did a nice job, no mistakes, and, you know, we have had a season where we have beat ourselves a lot and we have done some things wrong and we have had a lot of bad luck. You know, we have had part failures and things.
But throughout the course of the season, I've had a great team, and we have had good speed in our race cars. We were no match for Carl or Tony tonight, but we were a solid third‑place car, and for us, that was a good day.
Just excited about the job everybody has been doing here lately. We have ended the season on a strong note. We kind of took a step back there at Talladega with the windshield and penalties and all the stuff that came with that, and rebounded nicely without my normal crew chief being here. We had two or three different crew chiefs the first couple of weeks and then Scott Miller came in the last two weeks, our new competition director and called the race for us and did a lot of things that helped us.
All in all, a good way to end the season and proud of my team for what they have done the last couple of weeks. We know when we need to do in the off‑season like I said the other day. So we are excited about the work we are going to do this year and excited about what lies ahead for us next year.
Q. Michael Waltrip Racing has staked its future on you and even after just one season, you are the senior guy. What you have done these last several races, what's your confidence level like moving forward into 2012?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: Well, I'm cautiously optimistic. At the end of the season last year we felt good. We kind of ended similar. We were running well. Our cars were strong. We started this year off really good, but we had too many bumps in the road. We made too many mistakes.
Obviously we had some bad luck. We got caught up in four or five, I think six wrecks that we had absolutely nothing to do with. That hurts. There were some things that we could have done better. Certainly the penalty we got a few weeks ago, we broke a few parts throughout the season that we probably shouldn't have and those things set us back and took us out of contention into being in the Top‑12 and possibly make the Chase.
I'm excited. I think obviously we are still a young team. Rob and Michael and everybody at MWR, they have put a lot into this. Especially throughout the mid part of this season, that we really went to work on our aero program, our chassis program, put a lot of effort into making our stuff better with the help of TRD and all of the people there and the folks at Toyota.
They have put a lot into it and its paid off for us. I feel like our stuff is getting better. Still not where it needs to be but we are working hard. We have got some new people, obviously coming aboard driver‑wise, team‑wise. Scott Miller coming over to be our competition director is definitely going to help us. It's a position that we really have not had for most of the season. Nobody has been in that position.
All of those little things hopefully will add up and they are doing a lot of things to make our team stronger and at the end of the day hopefully those things will help us.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: It was really cool honestly to see those two guys up front all night long. You could not ask for a championship to obviously come down to be more exciting. Those two guys were really fast, and it's‑‑ you watch those two race like that, and you understand why they are here, why they race for the championship. You know, as fast as those two were tonight, it was pretty incredible.
Just have to congratulate both of them, both of their teams on what they accomplished. That thing could have went either way. One pit stop, one mistake‑‑ it was cool to watch. I do wish I could have beat them both, though, and they could have raced for second.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: Oh, that would have worked. That would have been good for you. Tried my best.
KERRY THARP: Martin, thanks so much. Good season and we'll see you in the off‑season.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: Hope everybody has a happy Thanksgiving.
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