Bass Pro Shops Racing: Martin Truex Jr. Talladega Advance

Notes of Interest


● Martin Truex Jr., and the No. 19 team for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) set the tone for the season right out of the gate by winning the 150-lap feature in the non-points Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 5 in Los Angeles. Truex won his heat race, then went on to lead the final 25 laps of the feature en route to a victory that gave him and the team much-needed momentum heading into the 2023 season. While the team was knocking on the door over the first 10 points-paying races, the breakthrough win finally came at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway on May 1, and Truex has added two more points-paying victories and four overall this season – June 11 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and July 17 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.


Playoff Time: Truex started the playoffs’ Round of 12 last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth with a 17th-place finish. He heads into the second race of the round at Talladega sitting fifth in the standings, 19 points above the top-12 cutline with two races remaining in the round.


34 and Counting: Truex’s win at New Hampshire was the 34th of his Cup Series career, putting him in a tie with 2004 Cup Series champion Kurt Busch for 25th on the all-time win list in NASCAR’s top series.


● Truex has three top-five finishes, nine top-10s and has led a total of 95 laps in 37 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega. Truex’s average Talladega finish is 21.4.


● So far this season, Truex has scored three points-paying wins, nine top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and has led an impressive 832 laps through 30 races. To put the laps-led number in perspective, Truex led just 572 during the entire 36-race season in 2022.


Martin Truex Jr., Driver of the No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD


You are aiming to get your first Talladega win. What do you work on leading into Talladega that you might not do other weeks?


“Talladega is a lot different than normal weeks. It’s a lot of strategy and a lot of talk with my teammates and trying to plan to work together to get to the end of that thing. It seems like every time we go back there it’s a little bit different. It’s changed a lot over the years and a lot in the past few years. Starting last year with this new NextGen car, it was quite a bit different racing there. Still trying to figure out how to get that first win at Talladega. We’ve been close there before and ran really strong there last year with our Bass Pro Shops Camry, so just looking to build on that and focus on what it’s going to take to try and get our first win there.”


A Talladega win would be your first on a superspeedway-style track – Daytona and Atlanta being the others on the current schedule. Is a superspeedway win something you would really like to have on your resume?


“I would like to, it’s something we put a lot of work and effort into. I would say it’s probably not my best style of racing. For us, I think that we are always damaged, so if we can ever get to the end of one of those races and are at the front, we would have a chance. If we get that chance again, we need to be able to figure out how to make the right moves. Would love to be there at the end at Talladega this weekend and have a shot to win with our Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry TRD.”


After running four races so far this season with the speedway package, what are your expectations for Talladega this weekend?


“I think it will be similar to Daytona. This car, for whatever reason, just likes to be two-wide, there never seems to be a third lane. There’s a lot of two-wide and a lot of track position – hard to make your way up through the field. You never know, though, it all depends on what everyone is wanting to do. How aggressive does everyone want to be, and will we have a chance at a third lane forming? I don’t know.”


Talladega has made some renovations in recent years to its fan amenities. How have you seen the track change in recent years?


“It’s cool because it’s a good fan experience at Talladega and that’s what it’s really all about, giving the fans something to do throughout the weekend when we are not racing. It’s a really cool setup for the fans. It’s cool that the fans can get up close to the cars now more than ever and they can check out what is going on. Always have a lot of great fan energy when we go to Talladega, for sure.”