Martin Truex Jr. finally got his first career short track victory earlier this season in Richmond. Now, he’s searching for his second on Saturday night at the Bristol (Tenn) Motor Speedway. The only difference is, Truex has been strong in the past at Richmond, not so much at Bristol.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has one top 10 finish in his last 14 Bristol starts. His last three finishes are 30th, 30th and 17th respectively. He’s finished 20th or worse in 11 of his last 12. His last top five came way back in 2012.
This could be the weekend that Truex’s recent hot streak comes to an end. Yes, he has four straight top six finishes in his No. 19 Toyota but just look at what he’s done lately in Bristol and it has me thinking this may not be his week to win.
“The Bristol night race is one that every driver wants to win,’’ Truex acknowledged. “It’s a big weekend for [his sponsor] Bass Pro Shops sponsoring the race, so we want to do our best to have a good run for them.
“If you look at the stats, Bristol hasn’t been one of our better tracks, but we’ve had so many crazy things happen over the years that cost us good finishes. Like last year, we were racing for the lead in the last 100 laps and get wrecked. Then in the spring this year, we made our way to the top five and were in a good spot but had a loose wheel.
“Our team has been improving at Bristol and we’ve got some nice momentum from the past month or so that gives me confidence we can run up front this weekend and hopefully put it all together to have a good finish.’’