When it comes to Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. will be taking a page from the playbook of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, who famously said, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”
“With no points on the line, and racing short segments on a Saturday night as we all did during our early years, the All-Star race definitely has a different feel, and the only thing that matters is winning -- nobody cares who finishes second,” said Truex, who qualified for the annual event as a result of his victory last June at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
With the All-Star Race winner collecting a $1 million paycheck, all 20 drivers who will take part in the new multiple segment format, will be laying everything on the line in hopes of securing the prestigious title and the cash-heavy purse.
Truex will be making his sixth appearance in the Sprint All-Star Race, driving the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota. His best finish was runner-up in 2010.
“The All-Star race is pretty exciting to be part of no matter what the rules are,” noted Truex. “If the tires fall off as much as we hope they will, the fin laps could get really, really crazy. I am looking forward to the race because our intermediate cars have been good. I feel we have a good chance of being in position to win the race.”
The All-Star Race comes at the peak time of the season for motorsports with the month of May also hosting the NASCAR’s longest race of the year the following week -- Coca-Cola 600 at the 1.5-mile Charlotte track.
“These two weeks feel special, no question about that,” said Truex. “We’re home, I get to sleep on my Denver Mattress and we’re racing for a lot of money and prestige,” said Truex.
He added, “Charlotte is such a fast racetrack, a fun track with plenty of character. In order to be successful at Charlotte you have to have a great car and drive your butt off. The asphalt is one of the most challenging surfaces since they paved it a few years ago. It’s just something about that asphalt that is different from any place we go to. When you have a fast car it’s a cool place to race, but there are challenges at Charlotte, especially how bumpy it has become in turns one and two the past two years.”