CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Martin Truex Jr. struggled on short tracks for 15 years before he finally snapped his streak of futility and swept this season at Richmond. He’d been inching his way closer to victory lane, only to come up empty in frustrating finish after frustrating finish.
Martinsville Speedway wasn’t any kinder to Truex, who recalled “the first couple times I came here, we were terrible. I mean, awful.”
The trip to the shortest track on the NASCAR circuit last weekend was different. It was a vital playoff race. Truex was intent on collecting his first grandfather clock (Martinsville awards a clock instead of a traditional trophy, and he had gone so far as to choose a spot in his home for the prestigious item.