Martin Truex Jr. is in position to help Pocono Raceway establish a Super 8 Sweeper’s Club.
No, there is no new hotel being built on the grounds of the Long Pond, Pa. track. Truex has an opportunity Sunday to become only the eighth driver in history to sweep the two Sprint Cup season races at the 2.5-mile triangular venue in the same season.
Truex went to Victory Lane at Pocono in early June, driving the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet. A win in Sunday’s Windows 10 400 will place him in the company of some of the sport’s greatest drivers.
The seven drivers who have achieved the Pocono sweep are Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1985), Tim Richmond (1986), Bobby Labonte (1999), Jimmie Johnson (2004), Denny Hamlin (2006) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014).
“That’s a stout group of drivers and it would be pretty special to be included with them,” said Truex. “After winning there last month, how can you not feel good and upbeat about returning to Pocono? We're going to have a big target on our back, but that's ok. We'll use everything we learned last time and more to hopefully achieve a Pocono sweep.”
Truex was dominant in his June the Pocono victory, leading a race high 97 laps and securing a 1.346-second margin of victory. He is well aware, however, that an even better effort will be required for a duplicate performance.
“Our Furniture Row guys have been working hard to find more speed for this weekend,” explained Truex, a native of Mayetta, N.J. “All the teams are also working harder as we get closer to the Chase. The toughest thing about Pocono is to find the right balance for all three corners. The three unique corners at Pocono are all different and the challenge is to figure out a way to make your car work in each of them. Conditions for this Pocono race will most likely be different, especially with the weather being hotter than in early June."
Truex, who is coming off a fourth-place Brickyard 400 finish, has claimed one win, six Top-5 and 15 Top-10 finishes in 20 starts this season. He currently ranks fifth in driver points.
His overall record at Pocono includes 19 starts, one win, three Top-5 and seven Top-10 showings.