MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed his future contract plans, the situation with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., being able to go home for a few days and ...
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed his future contract plans, the situation with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., being able to go home for a few days and other topics.
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A POINT WHERE YOU FELT YOUR HEAD WASN'T IN THE GAME AND YOU HAD TO PULL YOURSELF BACK IN TO GET YOUR 'A' GAME BACK AT THE TRACK? "This question isn't about me is it? Oh, it is in a roundabout way. No, I have never felt that way."
HAVE YOU EVER WORKED WITH A SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST? "No, do I need to? (smiles and laughs) I just don't get all caught up in a lot of things. There are times when I feel like I could do a better job. I think about how I want to do that and I try to make it happen. I don't ever remember a time when I felt like I was doing everything wrong and I needed to take a step back."
ARE YOU STILL RUNNING A MIX OF CHASSIS? "Last week was a new one. We weren't very good all weekend really. We talked about this a few weeks ago, I have never been good at Charlotte. I don't know why. There were times in the race when we were a 12th place car and there were times when we were a 25th place car. We just never could hit on anything all weekend."
TALK ABOUT BEING AT DOVER. "I love coming here. I think we unloaded great off the trailer. The was one of the best qualifying practice sessions we have had here. I don't feel on Friday I am any better than the top-10 guys here, but when Sunday comes around, Saturday afternoon the track starts to change and get ready for the race, that is when I feel like I kind of know what I need. I feel like I know how to make a little bit of a difference there. I felt today went really well for us. The car has really good speed in it."
DOES THE FACT THAT YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RUMOR MILL ANNOY YOU? "It is what it is, there is no way to stop it. I don't get annoyed. I think it is kind of comical sometimes. But we all understand that you all are trying to get the story and you want to get it before the next guy. It is no different than us wanting to beat the next guy. We understand all that. Hopefully, we'll be able to put all of it to an end shortly."
HOW SOON? "Within a few weeks, I would say."
DAVID REUTIMANN SAID EARLIER TODAY THAT THE BEST REASON FOR A DRIVER TO CONSIDER COMING TO MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING WAS THAT HE WAS THERE, BEING SERIOUS, IS THERE SOMETHING THERE TO ATTRACT A DRIVER? "That is a good answer (laughs). He did win last week. They seem like a great organization. They have come a long way. I think they have a lot going for them. We will just have to see what happens."
DO YOU HAVE A GUT FEELING ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE GOING? "Yes, but I ain't going to tell you though. I am just not going to tell you anything. The picture is pretty clear for me right now. I am in a good place. I am pretty happy with the way things have gone and I have been having fun at the race track and things are going well right now. I think in the next few weeks, everybody will know what is going on. I have just been concentrating on racing because I the picture is kind of clear so I am not really worried too much about it too much."
DOES YOUR BROTHER BEING AT WALTRIP HAVE ANY IMPACT ON YOUR DECISION? "Well I think with my brother being there has a big impact. I have more of an insight on how they do things which has been good."
IS IT EASIER TO STAY WHERE YOU ARE? "I don't want it easy, I want to do good. I want to get to the next level. I am not here for it to be easy. That has no bearing at all on my decision."
WITH THE WAY YOU HAVE BEEN RUNNING THE LAST FEW WEEKS, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO STAY? "How have I run the last few weeks? You say I wouldn't want to stay? Why?"
JUST SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVEN'T BEEN RUNNING THAT WELL. "At Charlotte? Have I ever? Darlington we lead laps, could have won the race. Richmond we led laps, we could have won the race. Phoenix we led laps, we could have won the race. That was the last three before Charlotte so you can't say that is the case. We have had some great runs. Yea, we didn't run good at Charlotte, we didn't good five weeks ago at Texas or wherever it was. But that's not it. I am not going to say 'man, I can't run good at Charlotte, I can't stay here.' That is not it. It is about the overall, it is about the big picture. It is about all the things that we have to do as drivers. Where I want to be as a driver, that what goes in to the decision. Not why in the hell I can't run good at Charlotte, you know."
RICK HENDRICK SAID HE NEVER KNEW PRESSURE UNTIL DALE EARNHARDT, JR. CAME ALONG, YOU'VE SEEN HIM UP CLOSE, HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FOR JUNIOR? "Well the difference for him is that 80% of the grandstands are wearing green on Sunday. Not only do our fans support their drivers, they support the driver's sponsors. They are the reason we all do this. So there are more people involved in this sport because of Dale, Jr. than because of me or anybody else out there. I think that is what makes it different, you know. The fans put the pressure on the sponsors just as much as they do on the drivers. There are a lot of people that expect a lot out of him just because of who he is and how much attention he brings to the table. He brings a lot of money to the table because of his sponsors so they expect performance. It is just big. It is a lot more than just him being one of the biggest names in the sport and people expect him to run well, I think it goes deeper than that."
DALE JR. SAID EARLIER THAT THERE WAS RISK OF MAKING THAT MOVE (TO HENDRICK) WITH HIM AND TONY EURY GOING OVER THERE, HOW DO YOU LOOK AT IT IF YOU DECIDE TO GO SOMEWHERE? "You know Junior went there for a lot of reasons. He understands the reason's he went. He had a good season last year. Things haven't worked out this year but I don't think that he necessarily took a risk that wasn't a smart move. I know Junior and I know him well. He's a great driver. I think it's just a matter of them putting all the pieces together. Where he's comfortable again and happy and having fun and just things start to click. When you think about doing things like this it's not about the risk or the chance of failing, it's about taking the chance of doing something great and get to the next level. That's what he was trying to do. Now has that worked out as planned, probably not but it doesn't mean it can't. He's not done. He's got room for improvement just like we all do. Heck even Jimmie Johnson, if you ask him he probably thinks he has room for improvement and he's a three-time champ. This sport constantly evolves and it's constantly changing and you have to change with it. There's nothing saying that Junior can't turn it around this weekend and for the rest of the year and go into next year as a favorite. Things change constantly and it's just about putting yourself in the right position and trying to do great things."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE PRESSURE ON HIM, DOES HE VIEW IT AS A PLUS? "I'm not real sure. It depends on the day I would say. I think there's days where it's great and there's probably days where it's not so great."
DOES HE TALK ABOUT IT THOUGH? "No. We don't talk about that."
DO YOU FEEL IT? "Not really. I feel good about where I'm at right now."
HAS JUNIOR OR ANY OTHER DRIVER GIVEN YOU ADVICE ABOUT WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A NEW TEAM? "Yeah, we've talked about it in the past. Last year, certainly we talked about it. I said this before, I always go to him for advice not only because he's one of my best friends in the garage obviously but because I really respect him. I think he's very smart. He understands the business. He's been around it his whole life. He's always been a big help for me."
HAVE YOU LEARNED A LOT FROM LAST YEAR AS FAR AS HANDLING THINGS WITH YOUR CONTRACT, HAVE YOU BEEN SUCCESSFUL WITH THAT? "Yeah I think so, so far. Just took a different approach. It was more about what was best in the long run and the pros and cons of each situation not so much just what my gut feeling was. I trust kind of took more of a methodical approach to it and I think it's working out really well."
SO IS YOUR NEXT MOVE GOING TO BE MORE LONG-TERM SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS AGAIN ANY TIME SOON? "Yeah, this time around it's going to have to be."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN CONTEND FOR THE WIN THIS WEEKEND WITH WHAT YOU HAVE? "Yeah, I think we can. I feel good about it. I love to come here. So far our car, I've been pretty happy with it. Like I said this is one of the best Friday's we've ever had here. It's going very well and the way our car has been running here lately besides Charlotte, you can't count Charlotte I'm looking forward to it. I think we'll be really good."
HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS, LAST NIGHT OR YESTERDAY? "I guess it was the night before yesterday I stayed with my parents and we hung out at the house and had a barbecue and all that. Yesterday I went fishing with my best friend. We didn't do any good fishing but we had a good time. It was good to get back up there and get on the salt water a little bit and do some fishing."
DID THEY ALL ASK YOU WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO DO? "No they don't care. That's why we're friends. They don't care. (laughter). My best friends that I grew up with have always been real good about not prying. They just like the real me. That's what's cool about when I go up there. They don't treat me any different than when we were in high school so it's kind of neat. They don't ask you about racing, they don't really care what you did last week or who you met or how much money you make or where you were. It's like let's just go hang out and go fishing or something. So it's cool to go back up there."
WILLYOUR SPONSOR FOLLOW YOU? "I don't know. That's something we'll have to look at down the road once we figure everything out. We'll see."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO HAVE SPONSORS THAT IDENTIFY WITH YOU? "I think it's very important. Obviously you want to be yourself and you want to be true to your fans and real. When you go out and sell something you don't want to just say hey use this because I do. When you're promoting somebody's product you want to be sincere about it. At least I have. That's why Bass Pro has been such a great fit for me. It's a no brainer. It would be easy for me to go to their stores and meet their customer because I'm a customer of theirs and I have been. I think it's important to do that with your fans. To promote the sponsor and put 100 percent into it you need to be connected."
-credit: gm racing