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Martin Truex Jr. looks to extend Charlotte dominance to Pocono

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 - Practice

LONG POND, PA - JUNE 03: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 3, 2016 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

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Since he won last Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway by leading 392 of 400 laps, Martin Truex Jr. has been in demand by fans and media.

The Furniture Row Racing driver continued to be sought after Friday at Pocono Raceway, not just for what he did last week but also because he’s the defending winner of this weekend’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400.

“Obviously, I’m looking forward to the weekend,” Truex said. “I think typically past experience at a track is definitely a good thing. I think we found some things last year that we could really key in on to find speed, and I think both races last year we were capable of winning speed-wise.

“So I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend and trying to pick up where we left off last week. It’s always fun to come to any racetrack after a great weekend.”

Truex’s enthusiasm, however, is somewhat tempered by the fact weather could play a factor on race day, just like it did Friday.

“You really never know when you come here what you’re going to get,” Truex said. “I remember years ago running down the leaders trying to win here and it started raining.

“But it’s just one of those places where the strategy is dictated by the cautions because the track is so big you can pit under green without losing a lap if you’re running up front. It’s just different strategy-wise. It’s almost like a road course in that respect, so you never know what you’re going to get, so we’ll be ready for anything. We’ve got a win now, so we’re in the Chase and we can kind of do a little bit of gambling and take some chances and try to get another win.”

After the early season struggles Truex’s team endured, he received numerous congratulations after winning at Charlotte.

“There’s so many great guys in the garage here and so many great people in the sport, it’s just neat to see their reaction and it was neat to get congratulated and see a lot of the guys on pit road after the race,” Truex said. “It’s just a humbling kind of experience, so that was good.

“Just a great week and a lot of celebration and a lot of talk about it. I still just can’t believe how many laps we led and just the miles. You know, just thinking about all the greats that have come and gone through NASCAR – all of our heroes, my heroes – to think that I’ve led more laps in a race than anyone ever has or more miles is just a really cool thing for me, so definitely a great week – one of the best I’ve ever had.”

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