Martin Truex Jr. crossed off a first at the Toyota Owners 400 where he claimed his first-career short track victory. A sense of relief showed on the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion’s face as he climbed out of his Toyota Camry at Richmond Raceway as a winner for his new Joe Gibbs Racing team. His victory also clinched $10,000 for a Toyota owner.
“Well, I'm really excited to win here. I met a man and his wife tonight that were chosen for my team, and if I won, they won 10 grand, so I met them earlier before the race in the Toyota suite. Toyota does so much for us, for our sport, for our team. To win the Toyota Owners 400 was really cool. I got to meet a lot of those folks in the suite earlier and they were really excited to be here. It was just a big night for everyone. Our friends won 10 grand, that was cool, and a Toyota in Victory Lane is exactly what we needed tonight.”
Rain proved to be a good thing for Michael Self as he picked up his second-straight ARCA win when the weather forced Sunday’s race at Salem Speedway to be called just past the halfway mark. After dominating the early portion of the event, and with weather closing in, Self elected to make a pit stop. That proved to be the right call.
“There was no way we weren’t coming at that point. We had lapped up to third so we knew even if no one else came we would be third at worst. Tires make such a big deal here that even if we had just a few laps under green we knew we’d get back to the front pretty quickly.”
The NHRA made its first stop of the year in Texas, and three-time champ Antron Brown reached his first final round of the season. Along the way, Brown scored two holeshot victories: one over last week’s winner, Mike Salinas, and the other over last season’s champion, Steve Torrence.
“It was a good day for the Matco Tools/Toyota/Pennzoil team today. We’ve been going through a lot of adversity and we’ve just been fighting through it as a unit together. Today, people saw what we are capable of.”