Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. says he is seeking "redemption" at Richmond after back-to-back crashes in Texas and Bristol hurt his 2018 NASCAR Cup series title defense.
Truex was eliminated in a multi-car pile-up in the first half of the Bristol race and also retired in Texas after a puncture forced him into the Turn 4 wall.
Those results mean he has fallen from second in the standings down to seventh and he is now 108 points behind points leader Kyle Busch.
Truex says he can take solace in his Richmond form, having led a race-high 198 laps in 2017 before a late caution damaged his victory hopes.
“We were the class of the field last fall in Richmond,” said Truex. “That caution was sure costly, and then we got beat out of the pits on that final stop. Our car was never good on restarts all night long so we were kind of a sitting duck.
“After what we have gone through the past two weeks (accidents in both Texas and Bristol), a Richmond redemption would give us a big lift.”
Truex has traditionally struggled on short tracks, but says he prefers Richmond to Texas or Bristol.
“Richmond is definitely a tough track,” Truex said. “But at the same time, it’s at the top of my list for short tracks probably because I have had more success there than at the other short tracks.
“I guess I just figured out Richmond earlier and that’s why I feel comfortable racing there. It’s kind of like the short tracks I grew up on.”
Truex will make his 450th Cup start at Richmond this weekend.
“It’s been a good ride so far, especially the past couple of years,” Truex said. “I am surrounded by a talented and committed team.
“We all feel the same, once you taste a championship you want to taste it again and again.”