Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Martin Truex Jr. Claims Kansas Pole

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Martin Truex Jr. Claims Kansas Pole

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- NASCAR playoffs points leader Martin Truex Jr. is one of the few Monster Energy Cup Series drivers that doesn't have to worry about next week, locking himself in to the field of eight with a win two weeks ago at Charlotte.

But Truex and the No. 78 team didn't let up at all Friday, with Truex capturing the pole for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Truex, who won at Kansas in May, clocked a time of 28.719 seconds at a speed of 188.029 seconds to earn his third pole of the season and the 15th of his career.

"You just can't turn it off, turn it on," Truex said about his mindset for Sunday and the remainder of the playoffs. "We said coming into the playoffs that we have to try to just be who we are, play to our strengths and do things the way we know how to do them.

"I feel like if you try to lay back or if you try to step it up at certain points in time you open yourself up to mistakes. You have to just push right on that edge that you're used to and that you're comfortable with. That goes for the team as well as me behind the wheel."

And while drivers like seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and former Cup champions Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth will be jockeying for positions that will allow them to advance to the field of eight, Truex will concentrate on trying to win another race at a 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway track that has been good to him in the past.

Truex, who drives the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota for Furniture Row Racing, has posted five top-five finishes at Kansas, including two seconds.

"I think for us we just go out here and do what we know how to do," Truex said. "Kansas has been an awesome track for us over the years in general but really in the past couple of years we've been really strong here. I'm just excited to see the speed in the car for qualifying. That usually means we're going to have a pretty solid weekend here. …

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