Why the odds may favour Truex in the NASCAR title fight

Martin Truex Jr may have been the last driver to get in the Championship 4 but his chances at a second NASCAR Cup title seem as good as any of his fellow challengers.

Why the odds may favour Truex in the NASCAR title fight

Truex has won four races this season – second-most among the title contenders – and won the spring race at Phoenix Raceway, the venue of Sunday’s title race.

Yet Truex seems to have flown under the radar because three of his victories came early in the season.

While he had to fight and claw for the fourth-place finish at Martinsville last weekend that allowed him to advance to the title race, Truex’s championship hopes appear to have improved dramatically.

“Phoenix has been a good track for us; 750 [horsepower] tracks have been kind of what we’ve been our best at this year, not only JGR but the #19 team especially,” Truex said. “All four of our wins have come with this package and these rules.

“I enjoy the 750 stuff, so I’m fired up and excited about this weekend. I think we can get it done.”

Goodyear tyre advantage?

Truex may also have another factor on his side.

Not only did he win earlier this year at Phoenix, but in the four races this season that have featured the same Goodyear tyre selection that will be used in this Sunday’s race (spring Phoenix, New Hampshire and both Richmond races), Truex won two of them.

Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto-Owners Insurance

Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto-Owners Insurance

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

He is the only one of four Championship 4 drivers to win a race this season on that tyre selection.

Strangely enough, as good as Larson has been all year, he fared the worst among the four title contenders on the tyre being used this weekend. In the four previous races, Larson had an average finish of 9.5 and led a grand total of nine laps.

Truex plans to use every advantage he can on Sunday and having won the spring Phoenix race with what he called the best car he ever had at this track it just raises his confidence.

“We need to make sure we hit it right. And obviously that (win) was a while ago. Things have changed, rules, tech procedures,” he said.

“Things will be a little bit different. Certainly, the weather is going to be different. It’s going to be hotter out here than it was then. No PJ-1 [traction compound], just spraying resin. The track is going to be different.

“You’ve got to go out there and practice and do what you always do. That is use your best guess intuition and your feel and your gut, engineering and all those things that go into it and put it all together.

“Hopefully, you mash it all together and come out with a winning car on Sunday.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hendrick: Larson believes he can drive and win "in anything"
Previous article

Hendrick: Larson believes he can drive and win "in anything"

Next article

NASCAR Phoenix: Larson beats Truex to win 2021 Cup Series title

NASCAR Phoenix: Larson beats Truex to win 2021 Cup Series title
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

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

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

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

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

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

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

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

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

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

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

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

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021