HOMESTEAD, Fla — Martin Truex Jr. says he was one adjustment away from a win in Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400. Still, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver leaves the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday with some much needed momentum. He didn’t have much of it coming into Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race. Truex, came home 25th in the season opening Daytona 500 and was 12th following a late race spin last Sunday on the Daytona road course. On Sunday, he got some momentum changing results.
Truex, brought his No. 19 Toyota home in third for his fourth top three finish in his last five Homestead tries. He was first in 2017, second in both 2018 and 2019 and now third on Sunday.
“The track changed a lot,” said Truex following his first top 10 of the season.”Our Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry was really fast at times; at time, a little bit off.”
Truex says that his car came to him by the final stage, but it just wasn’t a good as the guys in front though in the end.
“On that last run, who whatever reason, I was just babying it,” Truex continued. “The 24 (William Byron) got the lead from me on that restart and then the 5 (Kyle Larson) got by us and I’m just biding my time waiting for them to start coming back to me and they just never did. They obviously were really fast at the end and we weren’t quite as good that last run.
“These things are so hard to win. These cars are so touchy and just needed one more adjustment to have a chance.”
Sunday’s race was also unique in the sense that Homestead is abrasive on tires. Then, mix in the fact that you go from a day race to night, it changes everything drastically as the race goes on.
“Yeah, it’s definitely a big change here, and it’s something that we’ve done here for a long time, so it’s not like it’s a big surprise, and we kind of try to prepare for it the best we can,” he said. “Sometimes you hit it right, sometimes you don’t. I think for us today it was — we were pretty good all day long. Our worst run was the first one, and I felt like we were pretty good throughout the whole race.
“Honestly the hardest — it’s really easy to give the feedback. That’s not difficult. I think the hardest part is your guys figuring out how to make those decisions and just being able to stay ahead of the track because you know it’s changing constantly.
“It’s definitely difficult. We were really strong through the middle part of the race and that very last run we got off a little bit, and we had to make a few adjustments there, and we just missed it a little. That’s the way it goes, but it’s definitely tough to stay ahead of it.”
Truex, notes that his car has had good speed in it to start the year off and feels good about everything head to Vegas, but he also notes that his teammates are still off a bit for some reason too.
“Yeah, I thought our car was pretty good,” said Truex. “I felt like on the long runs we had the dominant car through the — late in the first stage until about early in the third stage and really that last long run we kind of got off a bit. I don’t know, we hit it pretty good I thought balance-wise today and made good adjustments and still weren’t quite fast enough to win. I’d say maybe we need to be better.
“I didn’t really race around our teammates very much, and usually they’re — typically we’re all kind of around each other I guess is what I’m trying to say. Probably got a little bit of work to do, but we’ll get to work on that tomorrow and hear how everybody else fared. It’s tough, there’s not a whole lot you can do right now, so it’s all about getting set up right, and tonight we got it pretty close.”
Truex, heads to Vegas a track to where he has six top eight finishes in his last seven tries.