Eye in the Sky: Clayton Hughes enjoys winning with Martin Truex Jr.

Throughout the 2018 season Motorsport.com will spotlight the winning spotter from various Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck series races.

Eye in the Sky: Clayton Hughes enjoys winning with Martin Truex Jr.
Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Haas Automation/Monster Energy and Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops and Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Haas Automation Demo Day
Spotters stand
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY crew celebrates
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops
Cole Pearn and Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota, Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion

This week, Motorsport.com caught up with veteran spotter Clayton Hughes, who helped lead Martin Truex Jr. to his first win of the season two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway and was part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship last season for Truex and Furniture Row Racing.  

How was your weekend at Auto Club Speedway and where there any issues during the race?

It was a really good weekend for the whole team. For me, spotting it was one of my easier weekends as we led a lot of laps, but it was very tense towards the end. When you have a lead like we did you worry about a caution coming out and having to make a pit stop or have a restart, but it all worked out the way we wanted it to. It was a great day.

How long have you been spotting for Martin Truex Jr. and how did you guys start working together?

I’ve been spotting for Martin since he came here. I’ve been with Furniture Row Racing since it started. I’ve spotted for every driver we’ve had on the team except for Kurt Busch. Then I just helped with his appearances and things since I was the only team employee based on the East Coast at that time.

Do you spot for anyone else besides Truex?

I spot for Spencer Gallagher in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

What is the most challenging aspect about your job?

Just making sure to not say anything wrong to your driver during the race. You want to give the driver as much information as you can as fast as you can but also make sure it’s accurate. You have to paint the landscape for the driver. Like here at Martinsville, you have to make sure to let your driver know when a driver is coming, etc.

How do you try and help your driver during the race? (Do you tell jokes during cautions, talk about something off the wall to help calm them down when they need it, etc.?, What is it they like to hear from you?)

We joke back and forth some but not much, this is a serious deal. I keep it as much about what we need to be doing. Martin is the most focused driver I’ve ever worked with and he doesn’t need much pumping up to get the job done. We’re in a serious business with sponsors who want to see us perform on the track.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job for you?

The most rewarding part of it is when we win. I love seeing all the hard work paying off for the entire team. I also work in NC and handle almost every part and piece of the car I touch. We have a truck that comes from Denver and we have metal crates that haul all of our race car parts. We get the last five feet of the truck and the rest has furniture in it. They will deliver furniture, and then they will load up fabric and car parts back to Denver.

I used to be in law enforcement and I got into racing and love it. I’ve been working with the team since its inception and enjoying helping out from N.C. and working with Martin and all the guys on the team.

He’s (Clayton Hughes) a lot of fun to be around. He’s a great guy, great teammate and having him spotting over the years have been interesting. He’s a lot of fun to be around and more than anything, he keeps it low stress. He loves what he’s doing and for the most part he keeps pretty calm and for the most part, I’m pretty nice to him usually on the radio. We do have fun and it’s awesome to work with him.

Martin Truex Jr.

 

shares
comments
Stewart-Haas Racing's competition director explains 2018 dominance

Previous article

Stewart-Haas Racing's competition director explains 2018 dominance

Next article

Trustee appointed in BK Racing bankruptcy case

Trustee appointed in BK Racing bankruptcy case
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Martin Truex Jr.
Teams Furniture Row Racing
Author Tim Southers
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for 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 Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

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

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

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 Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020