The win didn’t come easily for Truex, and it wasn’t without past struggles, yet he never gave up.
“They might think that, but ask my crew chief, ask my engineer if I’m the same driver,” Truex said. “Ask my car owner. I’m not the same driver. I’m better than I was. And they are better than they were. And we’re better together.
“That’s the real key. We’ve all learned together. We’ve all made each other better. We’ve learned to find the little things that matter.”
Truex won the 2017 championship by winning the season finale Sunday at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. He led 78 laps, including the final 51. On a restart with 34 laps remaining, Truex got a perfect jump and put enough distance between himself and Kyle Busch, who unfortunately ended up burning his tires trying to catch up to Truex on the final 15 laps.
“I don’t know how we won that thing,” Truex said. “Never give up. Dig deep. I told my guys we were going to dig deeper than we ever have today, and 20 [laps] to go I thought I was done — they were all better than me on the long run all day long.
“I just found a way. I found a lane that I could use and I found a lane that was blocking enough of their air that they couldn’t use it and just made it happen. I can’t believe it.”
Four years ago, Truex found himself without a car when Napa Auto Parts dropped sponsorship from Michael Waltrip Racing.
“There was a night where I sat on the porch and thought there was a chance I may never race in the Cup Series again, at least competitively,” Truex said. “It was late in the season, I found out I wasn’t going to have a sponsor, obviously, for the next year.
“I didn’t know of any rides available. … It was just a matter of luck and timing to be honest that it all came together. Obviously, the rest is history.
Congratulations from the o2 Sports Insurance team.
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