In the two road course races this year, Martin Truex Jr. has a victory at Sonoma and then a third-place last Sunday at Watkins Glen. I know a lot of people seemed surprised at that, and when you mention road-course racing, Martin’s typically not the first two or three drivers you think of as road-course aces.
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That said, however, if you look at the last two or three races at Sonoma in particular, he has had great runs there but got caught up in somebody else’s mess. I think he has been a victim of being beat up on late-race restarts at Sonoma a couple of times.
If you think back to when the Nationwide Series used to run the road-course event in Mexico City, Martin actually won one of those events. So I don’t know that Martin being a good road racer just fell out of the sky this year but I think from a company standpoint, Michael Waltrip Racing’s road-course program has gotten really good. You combine that with the road-racing skills that Martin has, and it really should come as no surprise how well he’s performed at the two road-course events in 2013.
Take a look at his teammate Clint Bowyer. Since joining Michael Waltrip Racing last year, Clint has now run four road-course events for them. Sunday’s sixth-place finish, however, was the first time in the four events that Clint has finished out of the top five. So, obviously, the Michael Waltrip Racing road-race program is very, very solid.
Despite his issues Sunday at Watkins Glen, their third teammate, Brian Vickers has had his share of good road course runs in MWR cars. So, again, I just think all three drivers possess great road-course driving skills, and then combine that with a very strong road-race program as a whole that MWR provides Martin, Clint and Brian, their success really shouldn’t be that surprising.