Martin Truex Jr. will make his 300th career Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
When informed about the upcoming milestone, the Furniture Row Racing driver said he was both surprised and grateful.
“I had absolutely no idea that my 300th start is coming up,” said Truex. “I’ve been blessed to be with some great race teams and have enjoyed plenty of fond memories.”
Truex, a two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion (2004 & 2005), started his first Cup race on Oct. 31, 2004 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He became a full-time Cup driver in 2006.
“Looking back it seems like a long time ago that I made my first start but it really wasn’t,” stated Truex.” They say when you’re having fun time flies, and in my case that is so true because I have had an incredible amount of fun over the years.”
Truex’s career starts to date include 117 with Dale Earnhardt Inc., 36 with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, 144 with Michael Waltrip Racing and two with Furniture Row Racing. His statistical totals include: two wins, 31 top-fives, 90 top-10s, seven poles and 1,889 laps led.
When asked if he sees another 300 starts in his career, Truex didn’t blink as he quickly responded to the question.
“Oh yes, absolutely,” said a confident Truex. “I am only 33 and have a lot more years in me. I feel the best is still yet to come as a driver.”
Truex’s career has been marked by resiliency while growing into a Chase-caliber driver.
“I’ve had some tough breaks throughout my career, a lot of ups and downs,” noted Truex, a two-time Chase participant. “As I have said I’ve been with some great teams but it seemed like every time we were getting to where we wanted to go something bad happened to make it come to an end really quickly. Hopefully Furniture Row Racing will be my new home for a long time and we can get to where we want to go.”
Regarding favorite races or moments in his Cup career, Truex said, “The wins are big in my book and making the Chase for the first time in 2007. I have a lot of favorites.”
Truex, whose most recent Sprint Cup win came last year at the Sonoma, Calif. road course, is looking to make the Las Vegas race a memorable 300th start in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet.
“Las Vegas will be another good test to see where we are at with the new rules package for the 2014 car,” explained Truex. “The first two races have not turned out the way we had expected, but we’ve also had some positive signs. It would be nice to look back and remember how successful the 300th start was.”
In eight career starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Truex has had two top-10s with an average finish of 16.2. He has completed all but four laps in his career at Las Vegas for a completion record of 98.8 percent (2153 of 2157).
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