Martin Truex Jr unsure why NASCAR title defence has been tough so far

NASCAR Cup series champion Martin Truex Jr says he is unsure why he has lost his advantage relative to other teams in 2018

Martin Truex Jr unsure why NASCAR title defence has been tough so far

Truex's best result of the year so far came at Las Vegas with fourth after finishing fifth at Atlanta and a lowly 18th in the season-opening Daytona 500.

The Furniture Row Racing driver has also endured problems on pitroad in the last two races as well as handling concerns, and failed pre-race inspection at Atlanta.

Ford and Chevrolet have both won races this year, with Toyota yet to do so after it and Truex dominated the 2017 season.

When asked if he thought other teams were now ahead of his Furniture Row outfit, Truex said: "I don't know if they've picked it up quicker than we have or the rules have benefited their body style more than it did ours.

"We had to change some things from how we did them last year and it appears those guys are really quick right now.

"We have to hand it to them, they did their homework and they're really fast and they're doing a good job.

"I'm not going to be the one that sits here and says there's an unfair advantage because I haven't figured that out yet."

Truex has pinpointed handling problems as the reason why he has only led 11 laps in 2018.

"We're going to go back to work and we've got some things coming that we've been working on," he said.

"We're right there, we just can't get the balance of our car where we need it.

"[I've] just been struggling with getting it to turn good enough these last two weeks and when we get that figured out we'll be right there with them."

He added that his downturn in form will not matter until the final 10 races of the season when NASCAR enters its playoffs phase.

"It's a marathon and it's a grind, honestly it really matters where you're at when those last 10 races start and I've learned that over the past few years," he said.

"Obviously you want to run good, be consistent and get stage points and all those things, but we'll get there.

"Hopefully we'll get a few wins along the way, but we know when it really matters is later in the season."

shares
comments
Hamlin, Harvick offer to help DiBenedetto after NASCAR sponsor exit

Previous article

Hamlin, Harvick offer to help DiBenedetto after NASCAR sponsor exit

Next article

Kevin Harvick loses NASCAR points lead after Las Vegas penalty

Kevin Harvick loses NASCAR points lead after Las Vegas penalty
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Tom Errington
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020