NASCAR

Las Vegas Preseason Thunder Q&A: Martin Truex Jr.

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DAWN GARDIN: We are joined here by Martin Truex, Jr., NASCAR Busch Series champion, talk a little about how your day is going so far.
Martin Truex Jr.: Well, so far it's been good. We've got two brand new cars here, both a little bit different and we're just going through our normal test procedures, trying some things. We've got one car that's a little better, that I like a little better than the other one, so that's a good thing. We've been trying to concentrate on that and we will more this afternoon.
Just trying to get acclimated, get back in the swing of things. It's been a while since we've been to a downforce track like this. Talks a couple runs to get used to it, knock the rust off of me and we're getting back into the swing of things now. So this afternoon should be good for us. Look forward to it.

Q. Debbie Arrington (Sacramento Bee.): What's been the hardest adjustment jumping from a Busch Series into the NEXTEL Cup?
Martin Truex Jr.: Well, nothing has really been that hard yet. It's about to get a lot harder, though. Just seeing how competitive the cars that are here today are, how fast they are running, is an eye opener for me. We've just got to work real hard and make our cars as good as we can and I'm not really sure what the toughest things are going to be this year. But hopefully I'm prepared for them when they show up and we'll have a good year.

Q. Chris Economaki (National Speed Sport News.): How long does it take a driver that grew up on a short track to get comfortable on a Super Speedway?
Martin Truex Jr.: It depends I think on the equipment and the people you've got around and the amount of confidence you've got in them and stuff. It didn't take me long at all. The first time I went, I was comfortable but I had great cars and a great team around me. They made it easy for me. So I think that makes a big difference.

Q. (FOX): What's your relationship like with Dale and how are things going with DEI as you step up this year?
Martin Truex Jr.: Things are looking good. Me and junior are good friends, just like we've been the past year, year and a half, two years or so. He's been a great friend and somebody I go to for advice, and I really look up to him as a person and as a race car driver. So it's good to have that relationship, but things are looking good, Richie Gilmour and Tracy everybody are putting a lot of effort into this season to giving us the best chance to run up front and run good and have a good season.
We just need to use all our people and experience to the best of our advantages and work together and just trying to get the company back where it needs to be.

Q. Ryan Smithson (NASCAR.com.): Curious what you talked about over the winter as far as getting your program back up to speed where it was a few years ago where you were competing with Roush and Hendrick.
Martin Truex Jr.: I missed the first part of that.

Q. Ryan Smithson (NASCAR.com.): I was just curious, Martin, what did you and Richie and Dale, Jr. talk about over winter to get your program back up to speed on the downforce track?
Martin Truex Jr.: Just pretty much everything. You know, they are working real hard on the engines, they are working hard in every department, the engine department, chassis, fab shop, everybody is working hard and we're just going to try it work together real well, use everybody we have. We've got a lot of great people, and we just need to use everybody to our advantage, Junior and Tony Junior and all those guys are going to be a big help for us this year for our team being new, and hopefully we can learn some things and bring some new things to the table that maybe they wouldn't have learned without us or we wouldn't have tried.
The guys are working hard. All the effort is there, the support is there and we just need to make the best of it as two teams.

Q. Ron Martin (CBS Radio Sports.): When you look at what you're going to face this year, is there any one thing that you're concentrating on in preseason testing?
Martin Truex Jr.: No, not really. I mean, being here today has really been good so far. Just coming back to a downforce back, Daytona test is real easy on us as drivers.
So come in here and get the rust knocked off and try to get back in the swing of things, is probably the toughest part. But I feel like we're in the right direction now. And this afternoon and tomorrow it will be a lot better, a lot better for learning stuff. But there's not really any one thing we're concentrating on and we're just trying to get ourselves prepared the best we can and make sure we'll be good when we come back here.

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