September 9, 2017
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No.78 Auto Owners Insurance Toyota, who is also our regular season champion and now has 53 playoff points heading into Chicagoland next week. Martin, just talk a little bit about what those playoff points are going to mean for you the next 10 races.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, I hope we don't need them. Obviously I think it's a good thing that we have them, and I think we could have used them last year, obviously, with the way the playoffs worked for us. But I think for us, just focus on running as strong as we possibly can and keep the momentum going that we've had here lately. Cars have been just lightning fast and team's been doing a great job. We've got a few little things we've got to work on, but all in all, I feel like we're definitely one of the strongest teams, and hopefully we can just continue to perform at our‑‑ at the level we're capable of, and hopefully we don't need those bonus points, but it's going to be nice to have them, that's for sure.
Q. What were you thinking when you saw the ambulance there on pit road?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I was thinking that somebody that‑‑ whoever hits the button to open pit road needs to pay attention to what's going on on the racetrack. That's what I was thinking. It's not like it was a big surprise. It didn't happen in a split second. The emergency vehicles were riding down the backstretch next to us as soon as we came off of 2, and continued all the way until the opening of pit road, and they just left pit road open. Somebody obviously wasn't paying attention or wasn't doing their job properly, and in my opinion at this level, it's inexcusable.
Q. The car that got damaged at the end here, was that a car you guys were looking at for deeper into the playoffs, and how much might that impact you guys with having a car get destroyed like that at the end?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I don't think it matters. I think all our cars are pretty much the same. I think that it's not like‑‑ it used to be you had favorite cars and you had cars that you named because they were good. Honestly nowadays, I don't even know‑‑ I don't even ask anymore what they are, where we raced them. I know the guys bring their best to the track every weekend.
It's unfortunate, but I don't think it'll set us back any.
Q. Since about Michigan in June, there haven't been very many debris cautions. NASCAR has been more‑‑ not calling those as often. Tonight we saw a quick caution for essentially smoke off the Kenseth situation and the last caution. Is there something that needs to be corrected off of tonight? Was tonight a bad night, or how do you view what happened with the cautions this evening?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I don't really have a clue. I can't answer that. I know I was right behind Kenseth when that happened, and I don't know if they thought he was blowing up or what. And then the final caution I really don't know what it was for. I haven't seen it. I just know it was the 15 car, who was 20 some laps down. I don't even think makes minimum speed, and really doesn't even belong out there. I don't know if he apparently scraped the wall a few times, and I don't know, couldn't stay in the racetrack as slow as he was going. It's unfortunate they threw a caution for that, and I don't know if it was‑‑ I don't know if it should have been thrown or not, I haven't seen, I just think that's ridiculous that a guy could cause a caution with one lap to go as bad as he's running and just riding around there basically just making laps. Yeah, it's pretty dumb.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports