Martin Truex Jr. takes a streak of three top-10 finishes, including two runner-up performances, into Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

He’s also the defending race champion, having dominated the 2018 race on the 2-mile layout.

“Our team is really looking forward to getting to California this week. It’s one of my favorite tracks, and I felt good about the test back in January,” he said in a statement from Joe Gibbs Racing, the Toyota team for which he drives the No. 19. “Obviously, the weather is going to be different, and there will be more than three cars like at the test, but we feel like we’ve learned a lot about the package since then.”

Truex will start 27th at Fontana after a disappointing qualifying run Friday.

However, Truex, who grew up in the Mayetta section of Stafford Township, has a long history of success at Fontana. Among his six top-10 finishes in 18 Cup starts there are last year’s victory and a fourth-place finish in 2017, the season in which he won the series championship. In those two Fontana races, Truex led a total of 198 laps.

In the first four of 36 races this year, however, Truex has led a total of only four laps. In his Fontana victory last year, he won the pole and both stages of the race.

“I’m excited to see if we can go back-to-back there because it’s really turned into one of the most fun tracks on the circuit.”

Gibbs Racing has done well at Fontana, too. In 81 Cup starts there, its drivers have 34 top-10 finishes, including two victories.

Truex is fifth in the driver standings this year.

After a late-race multicar wreck sent him to a 35th-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500, the 1998 Southern Regional High School graduate has reeled off finishes of second, eighth and second.

Can't get enough High School sports? Get the latest scores, game highlights and analysis delivered to your inbox each week!

Contact: 609-272-7189 CSchroeder@PressofAC.com Twitter @ACPressCharles

Line Editor

I've worked at newspapers since 1985. Mostly in N.J., but with an eight-year pit stop in N.C. I've been at The Press since 1997.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments