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Martin Truex Jr. hopes victory sparks contract talks

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Martin Truex Jr. hopes that his success early this season, especially his win Sunday at Pocono Raceway, will spark discussions on a contract extension at Furniture Row Racing.

Truex, in the second year of a two-year deal, and team general manager Joe Garone both said Wednesday that while they plan to get a new deal done, they have not talked about an extension because they have been so focused on racing.

The 34-year-old Truex finished 24th in the standings in 2014 but has had a turnaround in 2015. He sits second in the standings and has led the most laps in the past four races, including Sunday at Pocono, where he snapped a 69-race winless streak.

"We haven't really talked about it," Truex said about a possible contract extension Wednesday during a break in testing at Darlington Raceway. "You know, with the team that we're building, that we've built, I feel like this is the kind of situation that I've really looked for my whole career. ... I hope [the win sparks talks].

"I'm ready to go, so we'll have to figure it all out and see what happens with it."

There would be limited opportunities for Truex to move to another team, although Danica Patrick needs to land a sponsor to remain at Stewart-Haas Racing. Truex's former home, Michael Waltrip Racing, has not named a driver for its No. 55 car for next season, but MWR has struggled throughout this year.

Furniture Row appears ready to make sure Truex doesn't entertain any thoughts of moving and start those talks, especially now that the team has solidified a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

"We've been so busy focusing on what we're doing, we haven't talked about it yet," Garone said in a phone interview Tuesday. "It's obvious things are working well, and it might be time to start talking about it."

Truex said even with his struggles last year, he had not thought much about whether he wanted to leave Furniture Row. With new crew chief Cole Pearn this year, Truex opened the season with seven top-10 finishes and then improved on those results by leading hundreds of laps and finishing in the top five in three of the past five races.

"It's easy to have a couple good weeks and then fall off the radar. ... Now we've kind of proved that we're here to stay," Truex said. "We're going to be here for a while, and hopefully that's the case.

"And I feel like with our relationship and the way the season has gone, I honestly feel like we are still getting better, and there's room for us to improve, and that's a pretty exciting thing to think about for me right now."