Martin Truex Jr. savors win over 'challenge' of new aero rules

It’s taken some time for Martin Truex Jr. not only to get accustomed to his new home at Joe Gibbs Racing but also finding success on the track with NASCAR’s new aero package.

Martin Truex Jr. savors win over 'challenge' of new aero rules
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER ATVs & Boats / USO wins
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER ATVs & Boats / USO, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA AUTO PARTS
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER ATVs & Boats / USO
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER ATVs & Boats / USO victory lane
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER ATVs & Boats / USO victory
Race Winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER ATVs & Boats / USO
 Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER ATVs & Boats / USO
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Sirius XM wins
 Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto Owners Insurance
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops
Listen to this article

What is evident, however, is that both Truex’s No. 19 Toyota team and the driver himself have been able to craft the compromises needed to once again return to their winning form.

Sunday night’s victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was Truex’s third in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season, all coming in the last five races.

Read Also:

Truex was by no means a slouch to start the year, but it was clear he and crew chief Cole Pearn were going through an adjustment period to the team transition and the new rules package.

The struggles were especially evident at the start of the season on intermediate tracks, which had become the cornerstone of their success in recent years.

“I think we had a couple bad races at Texas and Kansas and just trying to figure out this new package. It’s been a challenge,” Pearn said. “You kind of go down a path, and these weekends, how quick they go, you’re kind of stuck with what you brought and it doesn’t work and you’re kind of in trouble. 

“It’s been that way, and we just kind of refocused coming here with kind of a different game plan and really took a positive attitude to it and try and figure out what Martin needed. We worked on him a lot to embrace the package and drive in a different way, and he did perfect, and we did better for him. 

“When you can complement each other and both do better, it shows a sign how good a team we have.”

Truex’s 116 laps led at Charlotte in the 600 were the most on an intermediate track this season and third-most in a race this year. On his way to the win, Truex also captured a win in Stage 3 in the race, just his second stage victory of the 2019 season.

Catching up to the new rules package

Truex admitted the new aero rules – which include lower horsepower, increased downforce and front air ducts in many races – have proved a difficult adjustment.

“It’s definitely been difficult for me, and I think for us as a team. It’s just so different than what we’ve been doing for the last couple years,” Truex said. “With the success we’ve had, it’s hard to change. It’s hard to say, ‘Hey, we can’t keep doing that stuff we were doing before.’ 

“So, we had to look at it all differently. I think our guys are really, really smart, and I just kind of buy into whatever they think, whatever direction they think we need to go.  I just continue to give them input, and my opinion on things, and we just do I feel like a good job of communicating and working together.

“I can take criticism from them and vice versa without getting upset or getting our feelings hurt. We just kind of go in there and lay it out, lay it all on the table.”

With this third win of the season in hand, Truex and the No. 19 are solidly locked into the playoff picture and it’s by no means too late for them to rack up more playoff points which could help carry them into the Championship 4 once more.

“I’m just glad that we’ve been able to win with this package,” Truex said, “because I know we’re going to have it for a while and we need to just try to run with that momentum.”

shares
comments

NASCAR Modifieds return to Martinsville Speedway in 2020

Wood Brothers, Penske win first eNASCAR Heat Pro League event

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Prime
Prime
NASCAR Cup
Bristol
James Newbold

Marques on taking on NASCAR The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

Prime
Prime
NASCAR Cup
Daytona 500
Charles Bradley

Pros and cons of Next Gen Cup car The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

Prime
Prime
NASCAR Cup
Daytona 500
Charles Bradley

How Cindric won the Daytona 500 How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

Prime
Prime
NASCAR Cup
Daytona 500

Six key themes to follow in 2022 Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

Prime
Prime
NASCAR Cup
Daytona 500
Charles Bradley

How NASCAR had to learn harsh lesson How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

Prime
Prime
NASCAR Cup
Phoenix II
Charles Bradley

Larson's long way round to Cup glory How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

Prime
Prime
NASCAR Cup
Charlotte October testing
Jim Utter

How NASCAR is preparing for 2022 car How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Prime
Prime
NASCAR Cup
Talladega II
Charles Bradley

Why Wallace’s win is huge for NASCAR Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR