Martin Truex, Junior has been racing at Darlington since 2004 and he knows why the venue is known as the "Track Too Tough To Tame".
"It's a mean, old place," Truex joked Tuesday.
The leading of the points standings was in Darlington Tuesday for a fishing exhibition with Bass Fishing Hall of Famer Guy Eaker. The two were joined in a boat by track president Kerry Tharp and the three spent a few minutes on Ramsey Pond. Only Eaker came up with a catch, but Truex is hoping for the ultimate catch at the end of the racing season as he hopes to land his first Cup title.
He will also return to the Pee Dee next month as the defending champion of the Bojangles Southern 500. It marked his first trip to Victory Lane at Darlington.
"It was amazing,” Truex said.
“This has always been one of my favorite race tracks. I’ve loved it since the first time I came here back in ’04. And I had been close here. I had some real heartbreakers over the years, leading laps. And even in years especially where maybe our whole success that season wasn’t that well, it seemed like we could always come to Darlington and run good.”
On that night, Truex was the class of the field when it counted most.
“There were parts of that race, especially in the middle part of the race last year, where I didn’t think we were good enough to win,” Truex said. “We kept our heads down, and we kept grinding it out in Darlington fashion just racing the race track and taking care of our equipment. And before you know it, there we were right at the front and finally took the lead and was able to hold on to it for the rest of the night. Just an awesome race and hope we can do it again. Man, it'll never get old winning here, that’s for sure.”