Martin Truex Jr. has watched during his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career as other drivers have put together dominating seasons featuring multiple wins and ending with a championship.
He said he always wondered what that would feel like.
So far this season, all Truex has to do is take a look around him.
Already the odds-on favorite to win the title, he opened the 2017 playoffs on Sunday with a crushing victory at Chicagoland Speedway that has already locked him into Round 2.
His win was the fifth this season – a career-best – and he leads the series in laps led (1,723). In fact, he has led almost 300 more laps than his nearest rival, Kyle Busch.
“Without a doubt, you have to say this is the best position I've ever been in. You can’t deny it. You can’t argue it,” Truex said. “At the end of the day, a lot of it is just people, communication, confidence.
“You look at the other guys that have everything the same that we do, and look how we’re running. That just really shows that our guys, the communication, kind of just how we’re clicking right now is the difference.
“Everything’s going the way we need it to.”
It doesn’t always.
Truex was in position to win the two races prior to Sunday’s but late-race issues took him out of contention. But even his bad days, aren’t that bad.
His worst finishes this season have all come as a result of being involved in wrecks or an engine failure. In the 27 races this year, Truex has failed to lead a lap in just six.
Truex’s Cup career prior to Furniture Row Racing was spent largely at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Michael Waltrip Racing. While he was surrounded by talented people in both organizations, Truex never developed into a consistent race winner.
“I feel like right now we just have everything. We have the right people. We have the right support. We have the right guys behind us. We have the right information coming in,” Truex said.
“We really just have it all going on for us right now, and things are clicking. We’re taking advantage of it.”
Truex’s team owner, Barney Visser, said he is in awe of the development of his No. 78 Toyota team.
“I think we all realize it’s just a unique time in history, in all of our lives, that this has come together,” he said. “It’s pretty rare that you can pull together a group of people this talented, and they will communicate well and get along as well as these guys do.
“It’s real nice to relax for the next couple races, but I know the guys won’t. It will give us a little bit of a break, but they won't take it.
“We’ll just keep working like we always do.”
Watch the recap of Truex Jr.'s win from Sunday: