In the first three crown jewel races of 2016 Martin Truex Jr. had finishes of second (Daytona 500), first (Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte) and eighth (Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis) for an average result of 3.7.

The Furniture Row Racing driver will be looking to continue his strong performance in NASCAR’s final crown jewel race of the season — the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway scheduled for Sunday night.

“Yes, we’ve had a pretty good run this year at the big races and hopefully we can nail down another strong finish this weekend,” noted Truex.

Truex, who will be driving a throwback No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval, has completed all but four laps (3,677 of 3681) in 10 career Sprint Cup starts at the daunting Darlington configuration, better known as The Track Too Tough to Tame.

“Darlington is one of my favorite tracks,” said Truex. “It’s such a fun place to race but at the same time it is one of the most difficult tracks. You have to attack the track and put it on the edge every lap. In order to attack Darlington you need to feel comfortable with the speed, downforce and grip or the track will grab you and put you into the wall. Though it has many challenges, Darlington is still an awesome track and there’s nothing like it.”

With two regular-season Sprint Cup Series races remaining before the start of the 10-race Chase playoff, Truex says the Darlington and Richmond races will be opportunities to develop a winning rhythm heading into the post-season.

RACE CENTRAL LIVE STREAM“We’re going through a tough streak of bad luck in terms of finishes,” said Truex. “The good news is that our performances have been strong during this period. If we can reverse the luck factor I feel that we can compete with anyone out there.”

Truex’s Sprint Cup record at Darlington includes one top five, four top 10s, 98 laps led and an average finish of 12.7.

Darlington Race Kicks Off Childhood And Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

The Bojangles’ Southern 500 will also be a crown jewel event for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and its two flagship fundraising charities – childhood and ovarian cancer.

With September designated as childhood and ovarian cancer awareness month, a number of NASCAR drivers’ steering wheels during the month of September will have a combination paint scheme of teal (ovarian cancer color) and gold (childhood cancer color). The inspired MPI steering wheels will be auctioned off in October on the NASCAR Foundation’s charitable auction line.

Drivers taking part with the teal/gold steering wheel will be: Truex, Justin Allgaier, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Danica Patrick, David Ragan and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Fans can donate to the teal and gold efforts by texting: STRONG to 50155.