Martin Truex Jr. says he’s right where he wants to be with Furniture Row Racing.
“When I first went there I was like, ‘Hey, this is a pretty good option. It’s my only option, but it’s a pretty good one,’ ” Truex said Friday, a day after he signed a two-year extension with Furniture Row.
“We kind of got brought together by fate and it’s interesting that it worked out that way. It’s just been I feel like a continuing trend of getting better and better and better.”
Truex arrived at Furniture Row – a single-car team based in Denver – after Michael Waltrip Racing dissolved in 2014. He made the Chase in 2015 and was one of the final four drivers still in contention for the title at the season’s final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“The whole process is how we make this thing work and keep it going and just see where it takes us,” said Truex. “The last couple years have been so good, it’s hard not to see it through to the end of the road and see where we end up.”
▪ Rookie Chase Elliott, who drives the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevy made famous by Jeff Gordon, is now racing against Gordon. And that’s been something positive for Elliott.
“More than anything, he’s being a really good teammate to come back and offer his support and do what he can do behind the wheel, which says a lot about him and his character,” Elliott said of Gordon, who retired after last season but is driving for Hendrick’s Dale Earnhardt Jr., while Earnhardt recovers from a concussion.
“He could be off doing a lot of other things. He’s been racing for a long time. I think for him to come back means a lot to the organization. He’s been a big help in recognizing where we are week-to-week, trying to help us improve. He has a lot of great insight.
“He’s very aware of what’s going on and aware of our competitors and where he feels like we’re getting beat in certain aspects, and he does a really good job of explaining that and breaking it down and trying to explain that.”
▪ Saturday’s Zippo 200 At The Glen Xfninity race will feature an unusually high number of Cup drivers – Paul Menard, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Trevor Bayne. They might be using the race to get more accustomed to Watkins Glen’s eight-turn road course.
▪ Qualifying for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race is 12:15 p.m. Saturday. AJ Allmendinger paced Friday’s final practice with a lap of 127.551 mph.
▪ Count Carl Edwards as among those impressed with how transparent Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been in dealing with a concussion that has kept him out of two races and will again Sunday.
“I think that it takes a lot of guts to be able to do that, to say, ‘Hey, I need to do this,’ ” Edwards said. “I think it speaks to him as a human being, and I think it sets a good example to young drivers - guys that might feel like they are at a point in their career where they can actually speak up and say they have a problem.
“I think it’s a great example of doing the right thing.”