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Truex hopes "cleaning up some mistakes" leads to first 2024 win

Martin Truex Jr. knows his team can win races and contend for the NASCAR Cup championship this season, it just needs to develop consistency both on and off the track.

Martin Truex Jr, Joe Gibbs Racing, Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry

Truex's No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team has had plenty of speed this season. He’s led laps in all but two of eight races so far and led the third most laps (352) among series drivers.

In fact, his 18th place effort last Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway is his worse finish of the 2024 season and the only time he’s not been running on the lead lap at the end of the race.

That record, including his five top-10 finishes, has him second in the series standings even though he has yet to win this year. He has 295 points, 14 behind leader Kyle Larson. All four JGR drivers are ranked 11th or higher and two (Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell) have victories.

The good news for Truex is he believes his team is more than capable of making the transition from running well to winning.

“I feel good about where we are at. We’ve had a top-three to top-five car every week, every race, with the exception of Martinsville last week,” Truex, 43, said. “We haven’t quite capitalized on that over the course of some of these races, some of it in our control and other stuff that just hasn’t worked out.

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Mavis Tires & Brakes Toyota Camry and Martin Truex Jr, Joe Gibbs Racing, Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Mavis Tires & Brakes Toyota Camry and Martin Truex Jr, Joe Gibbs Racing, Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

“We’ve been really consistent. We’ve been working on cleaning up some mistakes in several areas, I know the guys have been busting their tails working on pit stops. If we can clean that up a bit and they can get some confidence and get consistently fast, our cars are great, and the team is doing a great job and clicking and working hard.

“Hopefully, we can get our first win of the season here really soon.”

On the surface, Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway would seem to be a prime opportunity for Truex to earn his first win of the year.

Truex has typically been very successful at the 1.5-mile intermediate tracks. Of his 34 career wins, 12 have come on 1.5-mile tracks like Texas.

Although he has a strong record at Texas during his career – 17 top-10s in 34 starts including three runner-up finishes – a victory has eluded him.

“It’s always been a good track for us. In 2022, we were leading, and we blew a tire. It’s been one of those places where we have been snakebit a lot,” Truex said. “We’ve had some good runs; we’ve had some struggles at times since they repaved it.

“Just one of those things, but I feel confident going there with what we have that we’ll run well, especially how we ran there the last couple of years.

“It’s been tough, we’ve gotten a lot of poles there and led a lot of laps, but we just haven’t been able to win there.”

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