Phoenix II: Pole winner interview

MARTIN TRUEX JR., NO. 1 RAIN-X IMPALA SS, Pole-Sitter: "It was a good lap. Bono did a good job with the air pressure adjustments and working on the car and I was able to go out there and put two good laps down. So I'm just real proud of them...

MARTIN TRUEX JR., NO. 1 RAIN-X IMPALA SS, Pole-Sitter:

"It was a good lap. Bono did a good job with the air pressure adjustments and working on the car and I was able to go out there and put two good laps down. So I'm just real proud of them for their efforts and hopefully the rest of the weekend will go as well."

HOW DO YOU EXPECT YOUR FRIENDSHIP WITH BONO TO REMAIN? WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR NEXT SEASON AND HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE SHOP YET? TAKE US THROUGH WHAT YOUR INTRODUCTION HAS BEEN SO FAR

"I think our relationship will never change. We've been together since 2003 and he's been there every step of the way for all of our success. He's been the guy steering that. So, I have a ton of respect for him and am so thankful for him and for all he's ever done for me. I don’t think that'll change. I think both of us are kind of on the same page as far as that it was time to do something different. I think as hard as it was on both of us; it was probably the best thing. I think Bono is a great crew chief and I think his best years are ahead of him. It just seemed like we just weren't getting it done like we used to. And so change is a good thing. So I don't see that changing.

But I'm excited about next year at the same time. Obviously I've still been focusing a lot of my efforts on this year and what we've been doing. But there are a lot of things happening with our team for next year that I'm excited about. Pat is getting some guys pulled together and kind of molding the group that we're going to have on our team next year. They continue to move forward as a team and get better and be more competitive and I'm excited to be part of that next year."

YOU'VE HAD SOME GOOD QUALIFYING RUNS THIS YEAR BUT HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO FINISH WHAT YOU'VE STARTED. ARE YOU HOPEFUL YOU CAN FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED ON SUNDAY?

"Yeah, I'm hopeful. I'm optimistic. That's how you can sum up our season. We've had decent speed and good cars, but we don't have good finishes to go with it. We've had a lot of weird things happen. We've had a lot of bad luck. But at the end of the day we just haven't gotten the job done on race day. It isn't for a lack of effort or a lack of speed, we just have made tons of mistakes and have had lots of things go wrong. Last weekend I felt good going into the race and the right front jacking screw backed out during the race and ended up not only making the car drive terrible the whole night and we couldn’t ever get a handle on the car, but it led to another penalty this week because we were low at the end of the race. It's things like that that have constantly happened to us all year and taken finishes away. I think we've had like four top 10 finishes this year and that's no way indicative of how we've run on the race track. It's just the way the year has gone. It's been one of those years where we can't seem to do anything right.

WHAT CHANGES DID YOU MAKE TO ENABLE YOU TO PICK UP A HALF-SECOND FROM PRACTICE? YOU WERE QUICK ON THE FIRST LAP, WHEREAS EVERYBODY WAS QUICKER ON THE SECOND LAP

"Yeah I thought that was kind of strange also. In practice we had been faster on our second lap. Really, the only adjustments we made was for the air pressure. I felt good about the car in the two runs we made in practice. We made the first run and it was okay, but we needed to do some adjusting. We adjusted on it and went the wrong way. So I knew we could go faster. This is a place that normally you pick up in qualifying from what you do in practice. So I felt good going in. I felt like we kind of knew what direction we needed to go and we could probably hit it pretty close to right. But you never know how fast you can go. We were 20th in practice. But it was like a tenth and a half from first to where we were at. So it doesn't take a whole lot. We just made the right adjustments and the lap felt great. We've qualified second here twice and it was the same way both of those times. I think our first lap was quicker. I'm not sure why that is with us, but it just seems to be the way it is."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup