Dover: Pole winner interview

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 1st How was your pole-winning qualifying lap? "It was a good lap. We had a really good practice today coming in. Unloaded in race trim obviously...

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 1st

How was your pole-winning qualifying lap?

"It was a good lap. We had a really good practice today coming in. Unloaded in race trim obviously and made a run or two and felt real good about it so we went to qualifying. Qualifying this year is something we've kind of struggled with. And, Pat (Tryson, crew chief) and I sat down this week and talked about what we needed to do to get better at qualifying. We put quite a bit of effort into coming up with a plan. Coming here -- it worked for us. Real proud of Pat (Tryson, crew chief) and all the guys on the NAPA Toyota. They've been doing an awesome job lately. I'm having so much fun working with them. It's really a pleasure. They did great today. I'm proud of the lap. We slowed down just a little bit from practice, but it seemed like most guys lost a little bit more than that. It was a good lap for us."

Could this be a 'Martin Truex weekend'?

"Well, I hope so. Everything's going great so far, like I said. It's been a good day. I'm so proud of my team. We've come a long way in a short amount of time as a new team coming together. To come here to Dover with my old number -- 56 -- that has always been so special to me. Making my first Nationwide start here with that number on the car. All those little things make it special for me. So, it's great to come here and get a pole. I've never really qualified well here. We usually don't start getting the car better until Saturday afternoon in practice. The track is taking rubber like it used to -- it's getting real black. In the past, that's when I've been my best here. Hopefully, the best is yet to come and we'll be in here talking to you Sunday."

How are your team's new qualifying plans different from what you've done earlier this season?

"For the most part, what we've really been concentrating a lot more on race trim because we don't have those notes to go off of. Pat (Tryson, crew chief) and I and our team -- we haven't been to these race tracks together. We've really concentrated a lot on race trim. Races like last weekend (Darlington), where you had two practices and then you go into qualifying and you don't practice anymore -- those kind of races have hurt us probably more than some because, like I said, we don't have those notes and we really have to spend extra effort in race trim to make sure we're going to be good for Sunday. That kind of took a little bit away from our qualifying efforts. Really, in just other weeks, it's been the same way. We weren't good enough off the truck to be happy with our race trim enough to switch over to qualifying and give us 45 minutes to make two or three qualifying runs so we had somewhere to be. So, this week we said we're going to run 30 minutes of race trim and we're going to go to qualifying. We had a much better idea of what we needed for qualifying now than we have in weeks past. Just going there, being prepared early, having a good plan and stopping after a half an hour in race trim and going to qualifying -- it just worked for us. We had enough time to make our runs and fortunately we were fast as soon as we went to qualifying trim which made it easier. It definitely worked for us today."

Have you done anything different the last six or seven weeks?

"We just kept chipping away at it. We actually started the season fairly well with Daytona and then we went to California and had a good run and unfortunately we had some engine trouble. We've really been consistent on the race track. We had a really good, strong run at Atlanta which is one of my best tracks and we got in that big pile up on the green-white-checkered which hurt. So, there was some things in the beginning of the year that made it look bad in points but I felt like we were on the right track. We were competitive. Yes, we obviously had some things that we needed to work on and we've worked on those things and continually got better. For us, it was just we were kind of in the position where it was like Pat (Tryson, crew chief) had been doing some of this and I had been doing some of this and it took us a while to kind of put all of that together and figure out what the cars at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) wanted and what I needed. Just kind of putting all of that together took a little bit of time and I feel like we've got a better understanding of the race cars now and what we need in them for us to be competitive. And, obviously our teammates have helped a bunch. David's (Reutimann) has been really strong this year and I know the points don't show it but he's been really fast. Him and Rodney (Childers) have been a big help to us. Just a great team effort. We've just been chipping away at it, been solid and steady and working on our cars to make them faster each week and in the last few weeks they've had great speed. I felt like last week without the little transmission problem we had a shot to win that race. I felt like we were one of the fastest cars on the track all night. So that was a good feeling coming into here and the same kind of things have been working for us here lately. So it's exciting."

-source: toyota motorsport

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Martin Truex Jr.
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing