Martin Truex Jr. said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway he would not let what happened on the final lap last weekend take his focus off trying to compete for the championship.
When Truex was bumped out of the way by Joey Logano for the win at Martinsville Speedway, Logano locked in his spot in the title race. Truex, the reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, has a 25-point advantage to protect now at Texas and Phoenix Raceway if he wants to defend his title later this month.
Yet, even though Truex doesn’t agree with the move Logano pulled, he said he wouldn’t be approaching the weekend differently or change his driving style.
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“I try to do things the right way,” Truex said. “I try to race the way I want to be raced and sometimes I clearly get taken advantage of because of that. But at the end of the day I know when I beat a guy it’s because I outdrove him, it’s not because I took a cheap shot and ran into him. That’s my way of thinking. Some people disagree with it. Some people think it’s perfectly fine to knock somebody out of the way to get a win. In my opinion, it’s not. We all have opinions. We all think differently about things.
“It’s just not the way I’ve ever done it. Whether it’s go-karts when I was a kid or racing Modifieds. It doesn’t matter what it was, that’s the way I was taught to race. You race fair, you race clean, you race as hard as you can, you try to beat the guy straight up. I can say that every single win that I had I earned it, and that’s just the way it is.”
Truex did reach out to Logano last Sunday night, and the two talked about the ending of the race. Truex said he reached out because “I didn’t expect to hear from him, so I wanted to tell him how I felt.”
Earlier on Friday Logano said he was glad Truex texted him, which he said broke the ice and the two now know where they stand. However, Logano stood by his move being a classic bump-and-run and doing what he needed to for his team and championship hopes.
Said Truex, “I honestly wanted to get what he was thinking, what he thought about it. And now I know.”
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ABOUT KELLY CRANDALL
Kelly has been on the NASCAR beat full-time since 2013, and joined RACER as chief NASCAR writer in 2017. Her work has also appeared in NASCAR.com, the NASCAR Illustrated magazine, and NBC Sports. A corporate communications graduate from Central Penn College, Crandall is a two-time George Cunningham Writer of the Year recipient from the National Motorsports Press Association.