‘He’s One of the Very Best’ – Toyota Racing Boss Rooting for NASCAR Cup Title Contender Martin Truex Jr.

Published 05/11/2021, 11:45 AM EDT
May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. celebrates after winning the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


On Sunday, Martin Truex Jr took his third Cup Series race win of the 2021 season. While he has not leapfrogged teammate Denny Hamlin yet, he is inching closer. So far, the NASCAR Cup Series veteran is the only driver to register more than one win this year. Recently, Toyota Racing Director David Wilson opened up about the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

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He said, “For him as a driver, having a car where you’re off throttle time is as much or more when you’re on throttle time. Having a car that’s just difficult to drive, he loves that challenge. I think Martin is one of those drivers who flies under the radar.

“He’s pretty soft-spoken, but if you don’t think that he is one of the very best on the race track, then you’re dead wrong.”

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According to Wilson, it was truly impressive to see Truex Jr on the track. In addition to that, he felt it was marvelous to see him keep a level head when Kyle Larson hunted him down.

What does this mean for Martin Truex Jr in the title race?

Admittedly, Truex Jr may have dominated at the ‘Track Too Tough to Tame.’ However, he did sweat a bit towards the end of his dominating drive at the Darlington Raceway. While cruising towards his third Cup Series win in 2021, he was soon aware that Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson was on the prowl.

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May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) races during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

While the Asian-American driver steadily reeled in the 40-year-old, Truex used every ounce of his experience. With rock-solid demeanor and focus, he was able to pull away and visit Victory Lane again. However, Larson got close enough to be right on his tail with 30 laps left.

It is also worth mentioning that Martin Truex Jr had unfinished business at Darlington. Back in September, he led an astounding 196 laps and looked set to win. Unfortunately, he tangled for the lead late with Chase Elliott and ended up 22nd. Now that he has gotten his payback, Martin Truex Jr will look ahead to the next race at the Dover International Speedway.

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Dhruv George

11614 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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