The 2017 NASCAR season has been full of changes, and full of surprises.
We have seen the introduction of Stage racing, a change in the points system, a change to car setups, Toyota superiority, and a breakthrough dominant performance by Martin Truex Jr. The jaw-dropping consistency and overwhelming oomph shown by Truex definitely raises a few questions. What’s he doing right and what’s working in his favour so that he continues to lead laps, win stages and celebrate on Victory Lane week after week?
What a restart!
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) July 9, 2017
Toyota have been running incredibly well this season – having won eight times in the last 11 races. The recent New Hampshire race saw fan favourites and Toyota drivers Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr lead every lap but one. Kyle Busch has been a little bit late to the party, having only broke his winless streak back in August. Martin Truex Jr, however, has been seemingly flawless all season long in his No. 78 Toyota for Furniture Row Racing. Brad Keselowski even went as far as slamming NASCAR’s attempts to ensure car equality after Truex, Busch and Denny Hamlin swept a Toyota 1st, 2nd and 3rd during the qualifying session at Chicagoland.
However, fellow NASCAR driver – Kyle Larson – disputes that Truex’s success is because of the car he’s driving. In an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Larson made the following comment:
“Toyota is good, but honestly, I think it’s only the #78 team that’s dominant and way better than everybody else.”
So far this season, Truex has won five races this season. He has 12 career wins under his belt, but has been racing in the premier series of NASCAR for fourteen years. That’s not all either. Since the introduction of Stage racing, Truex made history when he became the first driver to ever win every single stage within a single race. Back in July, Truex won Kentucky and Danica Patrick was heard over her radio asking where Truex was. To which her spotter hilariously replied “in a different zip code.” He’s fast and everybody knows it.
It was an action-packed finish in Las Vegas.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 13, 2017
Truex has a great team assisting him in his impressive week-after-week success. His pit crew don’t make mistakes, and evidently his relationship with his crew chief is spot-on in terms of communication, car alterations and strategy. Of course, Truex’s team aren’t one hundred percent perfect – he lost crew members to suspension during an altercation with Kyle Busch’s crew chief back in July. Two tyre changers and crew chief Cole Pearn were involved. Overall though, the Furniture Row Racing Truex crew seem to have things figured out and haven’t made any other costly mistakes all season.
Truex has been at the top of the NASCAR points standings for quite some time now, and he looks to be virtually undefeatable with his feisty speed, skilled driving and flawless consistency. The normally tight-lipped driver made comments after the first playoff race at Chicagoland and had this to say:
“I don’t care much about statements. I’m just having fun. I’m proud of our pit crew for doing what they did and everyone on this team.
It’s important to come here and not let the pressure get to you, and I think we did a good job of that. Every time you go to Victory Lane, it’s special.
There’s just so many people to thank. I’m kind of speechless, but (team owner) Barney (Visser), and everyone at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) in Costa Mesa building great engines and TRD Salisbury – (sponsors) Bass Pro, Tracker Boats – just everyone, thank you so much.
It’s a dream come true, and we’re having the time of our lives.” – Martin Truex Jr.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) September 18, 2017
So with a great team, a great car, a great manufacturer and immense skill – Martin Truex Jr is a driver to behold this season. He continues to dominate with unfathomable speed and amazing execution of strategy. Of course, there are many factors as to why Truex has been so successful this season, but none of those take away from the fact that he is simply an incredible driver.