NASCAR star Martin Truex Jr. dishes on All-Star Race and Gossage’s last ride at TMS

Martin Truex Jr. walks the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/TNS)
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Drew Davison Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TNS)

Martin Truex Jr. is one of the top drivers in NASCAR. He’s won 30 career Cup races, including eight during his championship season in 2017. He’s won three Coca-Cola 600s and one Southern 500.

But Truex has never won at Texas Motor Speedway, and he’s never won an All-Star Race. He’ll look to change that narrative this weekend as Texas hosts the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday.

Truex has finished runner-up three times in 31 career starts at TMS, including at the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 in October.

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“We’ve been knocking on that door for a long time, led a lot of laps and been in position to win a few times,” said Truex, who has led 673 career laps at Texas. “Man, I don’t know what it is. The place doesn’t like me or something, but I do enjoy racing there. It’d be a great time for us to get a little bit of luck here at the All-Star Race and bring home that cool $1 million.”

Truex, driver of the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, is in the midst of another solid season with three victories in the season’s first 16 races. He’s won races at Phoenix, Martinsville and Darlington, and is coming off a third-place run at Sonoma last weekend.

Truex touched on his season, the All-Star Race and more during a recent interview with the Star-Telegram.

— On Texas hosting the All-Star Race: “It’s a challenging race track ever since they repaved it a couple years ago. It’s a heckuva challenge with the new configuration. The All-Star Race is always exciting. Obviously there’s nothing on the line but money. Hopefully we can put on a show.”

— On the significance of the All-Star Race: “No question it’s a bucket-list race. It’s been really, really tough on me, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be in it again. It’s a great show. It’s a fun and exciting race with really short runs and inverts and so much going on.”

— On his season so far with three victories: “It’s been a little up and down, but the three wins are huge especially with all of them coming on playoff tracks. That makes us feel good, but we’ve got some areas where we need to improve.”

— On TMS president Eddie Gossage retiring following the All-Star Race: “Eddie is a great guy. He’s a race fan and that’s why he’s been able to be successful and do the things that he does. He thinks like a fan. He understands what they need and he’s a showman. He puts on a show. That’s been fun over the years to see his crazy billboards. If there’s ever a fight in NASCAR, you know he’ll use that for a promotion. He’s a nice guy, a fun guy and has been great for the track and great for the sport.”

— On the Martin Truex Foundation opening the Sherry Strong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic at Novant Health’s Weisinger Cancer Institute in Charlotte last fall: “It’s pretty incredible to do those things. Over the years, we’ve been able to do some great projects. It’s been a humbling experience to be able to help those families going through tough times.”

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