NASCAR Kentucky 2013: Sonoma victory gives Martin Truex Jr. confidence

Andy Lyons

After breaking his long dry spell last week at Sonoma, Martin Truex Jr. is confident more wins will soon follow.

In the aftermath of his victory last week at Sonoma Raceway, Martin Truex Jr. spent the week responding to numerous texts and making appearances for sponsors throughout the country.

He wouldn't have wanted to spend his week any other way.

It has been over six years since Truex last won, a span of 218 Sprint Cup races. During that time he had several near-misses, including six runner-up finishes -- including one this season at Texas where he was leading with 20 laps to go.

But on the twisty Northern California road course the frustration vanished as Truex was finally able to solidify his return to Victory Lane. Now, he wants nothing more than to continue the momentum, and preferably, not wait another six years before he wins again.

"Last week it was just so easy -- everything went so smoothly," Truex said Friday at Kentucky Speedway. "It was just our time. We've been close before. We've talked about how we've led the most laps and dominated races and not won, and those are the days that really get you mad.

"I think we'll definitely race with less pressure as a team, and I think it will come to us a little easier, but, at the same time, you have to work hard. You have to perform."

The 1.5-mile oval in Sparta, Ky. represents an ideal place for Truex to continue his winning ways.

Since the beginning of the 2012 season few have been better on the 1.5-mile tracks than Truex and his No. 56 team fielded by Michael Waltrip Racing. In 14 races on 1.5-mile ovals, only Jimmie Johnson has as many top tens as Truex (11).

And as he pursues career win No. 3, Truex understands success on intermediate-style tracks -- and the potential Chase bonus points that go along with those victories -- could be paramount to his championship fortunes.

His win at Sonoma moved Truex to 10th in the standings with 10 races remaining before the Chase -- in good shape to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

"Based on performance, I think we can continue to climb and hopefully get in a position where we can maybe win another race or two and have some points to start out on the Chase," Truex said. "We started out pretty far behind last year because we didn't win a race. So it would be nice -- obviously, we have to make the Chase first -- but if we do make it, then it would be nice to start out with some extra points."

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