By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
NASCAR’s headlines all week has been on the dramatic finish from last Sunday’s First Data 500 at Martinsville, involving Joey Logano and Martin Truex, Jr., where Logano’s bump on Truex in Turn 3 to get the win, angering him as another bid of a short track victory vanished in front of him.
During Friday’s press conference at Texas Motor Speedway however, Truex did reflect on his hasty post-race comments on Logano through texting, but his eyes have already shifted from anger to game mode as his eyes are on advancing to the Championship 4 with a win at “The Lone Star State.”
“When things calm down, you think about it a little bit. I didn’t expect to hear from him, so I wanted to tell him how I felt,” said Truex, on the Logano situation. “I wanted to get his point of view and what he was thinking. What he thought about it. Now I know.
“We got three races to go. We have two important races here where I am in a position to run for a championship. I am not going to let what happened last week take my focus off of that. I think it’s something that stays on the top of your mind.
“If you get in a certain situation where it would be wise to remember what happened, that’s there. I really haven’t thought past that. I know what’s on the line this weekend. It takes a lot of focus and mental strength to do this job. And to do it at a high level. I am going to approach this weekend like I do any other.”
Known to be a clean racer, often viewed to some as a detriment because of his positive personality, Truex said how he races other competitors is situational. Most instances, he wants to run a race in an ethical way and hopes he gets that in return from his competitors.
“It’s so situational. I think it depends on what situation you’re in. What the situation is. What is on the line. How people respond to it. I try to do things the right way,” said Truex.
“I try to race the way I want to be raced. Sometimes I get taken advantage of because of that. At the end of the day, I know when I beat a guy, it’s because I out drove him and didn’t run into him. That’s my way of thinking and some people disagree with it. Some people think it’s perfectly fine to knock a guy out of the way to get a win.
“My opinion it’s not. We all think differently. It’s the not the way I have ever done it. Whether it’s go-karts or modified cars. No matter what it was, that’s the way I was taught to race. You race fair. You race clean and you race as hard as you can straight up. I can say that every single win I have had, I earned it. That’s just the way it is.”
Truex is currently tied in third with Kevin Harvick, ahead of fifth-place Kurt Busch by 25 points. The defending champion will have some work to do as he’ll start Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 in 13th, the second worst qualifier among the Round of 8 drivers.