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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

ASHLEY ASKS…… Martin Truex Jr.

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With eight wins, 18 stage victories, and 19 top-fives, Martin Truex Jr. put together a dominating season in 2017 en route to being crowned the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion. 

Recently, the Furniture Row Racing driver spoke to POPULAR SPEED about his thoughts on the title, as well as his perspective entering this year.

POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts looking back on the championship?

MARTIN TRUEX JR: Amazing season. Anytime you set out to accomplish something at that level and get it done, it’s pretty amazing. Even more so than that, a childhood dream for me, something that I’ve worked towards my entire life.

PS: Couple months removed, has it changed you at all?

MTJ: I’m still the same. I don’t feel any different, or act any different so I guess that’s good. I think it will change how people look at me inside the sport and as a driver, and look at my career in what I accomplished. It’s the top of the world in racing so definitely proud of that, but still the same person.

NIGEL KINRADE | NKP

PS: With everything you and (girlfriend) Sherry Pollex have been through together, what did it mean to you to have her that night by your side to celebrate with?

MTJ: It was awesome to have some fun, and to think about all the stuff that we’ve been through, and the fact that we were able to pull through it and not let anything get us down and be successful in life. It’s something we’re both proud of. She’s doing awesome in her fight, and she was obviously a huge part of the championship for our whole team, an inspiration for all of us – me especially. It was definitely cool to see her up there celebrating, and excited, and know that things are still going well for everybody.

PS: Last year was the first year for stage racing. What are your reflections?

MTJ: It worked out great for us (laughs). Looking forward to doing it again.

PS: What are your thoughts going into 2018 on that note?

MTJ: I feel good. I think that we can pick up right where we left off. There’s not a lot of rule changes coming this year. There’s a few little things that will change it up, but our whole team is still staying together. We got a lot of confidence, and we’re in a great spot with Toyota, and our alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. I feel we can pick up right where we left off, and hopefully continue what we did last year.

John K Harrelson NKP

PS: What’s your favorite track to go to?

MTJ: Darlington.

PS: Championship four this year. We know you’re going to be there, but who will join you?

MTJ: I think it’s really tough to say right now. I mean, I feel like you have to look at the 4 car (Kevin Harvick) who was really strong this year and been strong consistently the past couple of years. The 18 (Kyle Busch) is strong. We were right there dominating races with him all year long. Those guys will be strong. I’m not sure; those two stick out to me more than anyone else. Maybe (Kyle) Larson. He’s had a great season this year, and we felt like he was going to make it there this year, as well. Those are three really good picks, and we’ll see how it all shakes out.

PS: Looking back at your career, going back to the scandal with Michael Waltrip Racing. Did you think about walking away at all?

MTJ: I never thought about walking away. I thought I may get pushed out, and I thought I might not get the kind of opportunity that I hoped for and wouldn’t sure if I would be able to get to this position today. But, I never thought about quitting or thought about giving up, and just knew I was going to fight as hard as I could to get to where I wanted to be.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.