The 2017 Cup Series champion is one of the few active drivers that has won at Auto Club Speedway. He captured the 2018 race after starting from the pole position. Now, he will return for one final run on the two-mile configuration, and he will try to add another surfboard to his collection of trophies.
“I love the racetrack, it’s one of my favorites and I’m not one to pick favorites,” Truex said in a release from Joe Gibbs Racing. “It will be a bit bittersweet going out there for the last time with the two-mile oval. I’m going to miss it and hopefully, we have a good last showing out there, it’s been good for us.”
Truex Brings Back a Longtime Partner for Fontana
When Truex heads to Auto Club Speedway to pursue another win, he will reunite with a longtime partner of Joe Gibbs Racing. He will have Reser’s Fine Foods as the primary partner on the No. 19 Toyota Camry, marking the third season he has worked with the company.
Reser’s Fine Foods, which celebrates its 11th season with JGR, has supported Truex for numerous races on the Cup Series schedule. The list includes events at Watkins Glen International, Auto Club Speedway, Dover Motor Speedway, and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Truex hasn’t taken Reser’s Fine Foods to Victory Lane just yet. His best run with the primary sponsor is a third-place finish at Watkins Glen in 2021. However, the trip to Auto Club Speedway presents him with another opportunity.
“All I’m going to do is go out there and think about how we can win and have a great weekend with our Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota,” Truex continued. “Reser’s is the sponsor of our team and of good times, so I can’t think of a better time than winning, and that’s what we will work toward this weekend.”
Truex Will Embrace a Driver’s Track
The Cup Series drivers have completed one race of the 2023 season, the Daytona 500. This was an event that featured multiple wrecks during the final two stages, including one that collected Truex’s No. 19. Though he still finished 15th.
Truex will now head to a track where the drivers have more control over their fates. There is obviously some luck involved as they try to avoid wrecks or mechanical problems, but they are still better able to make moves all over the track instead of relying on the draft.
For Truex, he will have to achieve some balance while competing at Auto Club Speedway. He will need to make moves early in the run while he has fresh tires, but he will also have to properly handle the No. 19 when the tires are worn and the Toyota is sliding around.
“Between the bumps and the tire wear, there are a lot of challenges,” Truex said. “You start the run, you feel like Superman and you have a ton of grip and the car is really hooked up into the track. After 10 laps, then 15 laps, then 20 laps, it just gets worse and worse and you are sliding around a lot and wearing the tires out.”