“It’s really frustrating, but not as frustrating as if we weren’t in position to win. We’re going to win again, no doubt."
Truex will drive the No. 56 Toyota Sunday at Delaware’s Dover International Speedway in the FedEx 400 benefiting Austism Speaks race.
Since Truex, 31, is from Mayetta in Ocean County, N.J., he considers Dover his home track. Truex is having a strong season. He’s sixth in points, 49 behind leader Greg Biffle.
"It’s important that we keep our consistency up," Truex said. "We’re doing everything we can to run up front and get to victory lane."
The two-time Nationwide Series champion is in his third season driving for Michael Waltrip Racing. Another MWR driver, Clint Bowyer, is 12th in points.
Five years ago, in Truex’ second Cup season when he won at Dover, he qualified for his first and only Chase for the Championship, finishing 11th. Truex thinks his additional experience allows him to offer more input with his team.
"I feel I’m a big part of the turnaround for the whole team," he said. "When things aren’t going right, I try to keep my head in the game and stay positive."
With his MWR contract expiring at the end of this year, Truex hopes to continue with the ascending organization.
"I really hope to be back where I’m at right now," he said. "I love this team. I love the direction we’re going. We’ll just have to see how everything lines up. We’ve worked very, very hard to get to where we are.
“It would be a shame to have to do something different after coming this far. My career has been one of those where it seems like every time things would start going good — something big happened or something big changes and really hurt [our] progress. Hopefully, that won’t be the case this time."
Truex’ brother, Ryan, 20, will drive a Toyota in Saturday’s Nationwide race at Dover. Ryan was cleared to race after undergoing an appendectomy May 22. Ryan won the 2009 and ’10 K&N Pro East series titles.
In Ryan’s four Nationwide races this year, he’s driven for three different teams.
"It’s difficult when he’s only run a few races and they’re spread out," Martin said. "He’s grown a lot as a person. It’s only a matter of time until he puts the right deal together."
Dr. Dick Berggren, the longest-serving NASCAR TV pit reporter, will work his final race for Fox Sunday. Berggren, who just turned 70, has been with Fox since it began covering NASCAR in 2001.
Berggren launched his TV career in 1981 at Dover with Mike Joy for ESPN. Jody Ridley won his only Cup series race when many top cars dropped out.
Berggren is spearheading plans for an auto racing museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Massachusetts resident also has been a racer, a racing magazine founder and a college psychology professor.
One of Berggren’s favorite stories occurred after he completed graduate school. He accepted a position teaching at an all-women’s Catholic college in Boston. Following a weekend at the track, Berggren drove to school in his mud-covered truck, still carrying his sprint car.
"I parked the rig, which had my name on it, in the faculty parking lot," Berggren said. "It was there about 10 minutes when I was paged to the president’s office. Sister wanted to know what that ‘thing’ was in the parking lot. She explained to me it had to be off college property immediately.
“I wasn’t about to park my race car on a Boston street, so I disobeyed the college president and left the rig in the faculty lot all day. I knew my teaching job was over."
Photo-finish TV ratings
The Coca-Cola 600 edged the Indy 500 in Sunday’s TV ratings battle. The rating for the 600 on Fox was a 4.4 (7.4 million viewers) compared with a 4.3 (6.8 million) viewers for Indy on ESPN/ABC. n
Contact Bill Fleischman at email@example.com.