Fontana: Truex Jr - Friday media visit

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Auto Club Speedway and discussed his finish at Daytona, the progress of his team, not testing and other topics. WAS FINISHING 11TH OK AFTER...

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Auto Club Speedway and discussed his finish at Daytona, the progress of his team, not testing and other topics.

WAS FINISHING 11TH OK AFTER SITTING ON THE POLE AT DAYTONA? "Yes, I mean, that is the best we have ever come out of Daytona. I was happy. We were making our way towards the front and I was kinda trying to be smart. I kinda just took my time all day and take care of the car and get it good. Actually, we got it very good when it started to get dark there toward the end of the race. We got it pretty good and I was very happy with the car. We were actually making a run to the front when the caution came out there. It was an ok finish. I would have liked to have done better but, like I said, it was the best we ever came out of there so it was pretty good."

IS IT ACCURATE TO SAY THAT THE CALIFORNIA RACE IS THE START OF THE SEASON? "By looking at the times and what guys are fast and all that, it looks like we just continued last year. It is not a good thing for us. We kind of came here with some new stuff to try because we haven't tested and we knew we needed to get better on mile and a halfs (track). That is the only thing frustrating about the no testing thing, the guys that were fast last year still have that edge and it is going to hard for us to catch up."

WHAT DO YOU DO TO CATCH UP? "Well, we came here with some new stuff in the car. That is kinda what we are going to have to do is use our practices as a test session. But the problem with that is we don't get enough practice. We only have one session tomorrow to get ready for the race. So it is going to difficult but you just gotta keep throwin' things at it and hope that eventually you will hit on the combination."

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHERE THE FINE LINE OF TESTING AT THE RACE TRACK AND SACRIFICING FINISHING SPOTS IS? "You obviously you want to get the best finishes you can but at the same time, if you want to be better and you want to run up front, you want to win races for your sponsors. If you run in the top-10 or top-15 every week, you will probably make the Chase, but when you get there, what are you going to do? You are going to finish 10th or 11th or 12th. It is a tough thing, because right now I am sitting here thinking I felt like we were better the last time we were here than we are now. So we tried some things and it didn't work. But if it did work, it would be worth it. So it just all depends. I think it will change by the week. Really, you just need to do all you can to get better and hope you'll have enough time to be prepared when you get to the race track."

WHEN DO YOU HOPE ARE BETTER BY? "I hope we are better by this Sunday. I can't stand not to run good. It is tough when your stuff's not working right. We were decent in practice but we weren't great. Usually we run pretty well here so I was a little disappointed in our practice. At the same time, I realize we were doing some new stuff and we are going to have to work through some things."

IS THE NEW STUFF GANASSI STUFF? "Honestly, no, maybe a little bit. All three of our cars are fairly different here today. It seems like the No. 42 is the best out of the three of us. At least we have something to look at and somebody to compare notes with."

HAS ANYTHING PLAYED OUT ABOUT THE MERGER. "All three of our cars ran fairly well. That was good. We haven't seen a whole lot yet. I think the further we get down the road, the more we are going to see it as we put our stuff together more. Right now today, all of our cars are fairly different. I think we will keep working through thing as a team. We will figure what each other likes and doesn't like. Hopefully one of us will come up with a combination that works really well and we can all adapt to it. That is the plan. So we will just see where it goes."

JUAN (PABLO MONTOYA) SAID HE THINKS THINGS ARE WORKING PRETTY WELL. "I feel comfortable with all the people. I think the people are doing a great job. I am excited about that and Brian Pattie (crew chief, No. 42) and Juan have been fun to work with so far, I know Bono (Kevin Manion, crew chief) really enjoys working with Brian too. I think Doug (Randolph) will do a great job with Aric (Almirola). I hope they can get some sponsorship and keep running. He has a lot of talent. I think Doug has done a great job as a crew chief since he came over to us. Last year with Paul (Menard) I think he did a lot to move Paul forward and I think he is going to do the same with Aric. We have a good group of core people, we just need to get a little bit of time, get some things going and hopefully come up with some stuff that works for all of us to where we can work together even better."

YOU PROBABLY KNOW DALE, JR. BETTER THAN ANYONE IN THE GARAGE, HOW IS HE REACTING TO THE CONTROVERSY FROM DAYTONA? "Man, you all are too hard on him. It is like, if somebody wrecks him, it is the end of the world. If he wrecks somebody, it is the end of the world. You know, give the guy a break. Everybody makes mistakes. He is fine. I talked to him this week. I never mentioned it, he never mentioned it. I am not going to say exactly how he feels about. I don't think he pays attention to all the crap that goes on during the week."

HE SAYS HE READS SOME OF WHAT IS OUT THERE. "He is just trying to make you feel good about what you write. (LAUGHS)

DID HE MAKE A MISTAKE? "I have not even seen a replay of the wreck. The only thing I saw was it looked like the No. 83 blocked a little, he didn't give. So neither of them gave. When wrecks happen that is usually how it happens, both guys don't give an inch. Sometimes you have to be the one to give an inch and sometimes the other guy should be. But, who is right and who is wrong, I don't know, I didn't see it that well. It is what it is. It is not a big deal. It is Daytona, it is how it goes."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup