NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Federated Auto Parts 400
Topics: Federated Auto Parts 400
Martin Truex, Jr.
September 7, 2013
KERRY THARP: At this time we'll call up our two wild card participants. That's Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex, Jr.
Let's hear from Kasey right now. Kasey, certainly you actually had wrapped up at least a wild card berth last week at Atlanta. Maybe just talk about your race here tonight.
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, just glad we had it wrapped up because we were struggling tonight throughout the race. Just off. Never really got it figured out. Tight first 20 laps, then spinning the last 60.
It was a tough race for us. Wish somehow Jeff would have got in, but that didn't happen. That's it.
KERRY THARP: Martin, talk about getting into the Chase. Certainly highs and lows all night, back and forth. Talk about your feelings now.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: Well, I mean, obviously I'm happy. Shocked. We had such a rough night. Honestly, we came down pit road after the race, nobody knew what was going on.
Just did everything I could all night to get every spot I could. We struggled on long runs. On the short runs we were fast. At the end we were able to pass a bunch of cars. We got lucky with the caution, the way they fell. When a bunch of guys had a wave‑around, we got track position there. We were able to get good restarts, get a bunch of spots.
We just kind of got lucky. Newman was really fast tonight. We tied him. Crazy how it went down. Every time I asked all night where we were, we were out. I just quit asking, just kept working on the racecar, trying to get it better. Never gave up.
Proud of my guys for their effort.
KERRY THARP: Questions for Kasey or Martin.
Q. Kasey, did you at any time during practice expect the race to be this way tonight?
KASEY KAHNE: As far as my car?
KASEY KAHNE: No. I thought my car was decent in practice. We made a 25‑lap run. It wasn't as good as some, but it was better than most. So I thought we were all right.
Once the race started, I knew we weren't. I mean, we made some adjustments four times. We came out last and really worked on it and didn't go anywhere after that.
We struggled here the first race also. Tested here. Never felt good in the test. Clint, Martin. Martin wasn't as good as Clint. Clint was the best guy at the test I thought. We knew we were off.
I haven't been able to figure it out. I don't know if it's the way I drive this track with this tire, track, car combination, the way I lift, how I hold the car out on entry, things like that, or if we're missing it setup‑wise. I'm not sure.
I'm definitely glad this isn't one of the final 10.
Q. So are you glad there's nothing like this coming?
KASEY KAHNE: Glad we had two wins coming in.
Q. Martin, how is the wrist, the cast, how is it going to affect the Chase?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: Well, the cast is a whole lot better than it was last week. It's still completely intact. It hurts half as much as it did last week, which is good. It still hurts.
Obviously I made a huge step forward from last week, and hopefully each week it will continue to get that much better.
It wasn't an issue tonight. It's always in the back of your mind, annoying you. You can drive through it.
I don't think it will affect us. We'll have to hope it gets better and go from there.
Q. Martin, this is a sport filled with conspiracy theorists. Ryan Newman gets hurt by the caution. Do you have any thoughts on that?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: You know, I don't know. I don't have any thoughts on it honestly. I didn't even know it happened until after the race. Marty asked me that question. I was like, I don't know what you're talking about.
I had no idea. I raced my butt off all night long. That's all I can do. I tell my crew chief what my car is doing, what I need to go faster. That was enough to worry about. I don't have to worry about any other people out on the racetrack.
I knew Ryan was fast all night. I seen him up ahead of me all night long. I knew we were going to be close. The last I knew, the 22 had a wild card spot, neither me or Ryan had it.
I just knew on the last restart I had to try to keep up with him the best I could because I knew based on going into the race we had to stay close to each other. I didn't even know that the 15 brought out the caution until after the race.
Q. Martin, are you surprised that you're sitting here, considering what went on?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: I got out of the car, I was speechless. I thought at no point in this race tonight we had a chance. I knew the 22 was running really bad. He had a win. Newman had a win. We were only five points apart. He was running way better than we were.
About a hundred laps into the race, I said, I'm not going to worry about it anymore, I'm going to try to keep working on my car to get it better. That's all I could do at that point.
KERRY THARP: We'll let Kasey and Martin go. Congratulations on making the Chase.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|