Martin Truex Jr. knows outsiders hear the infighting on his Joe Gibbs Racing team radio and assume it’s a sign of bigger troubles within the team.

“We talked right after the race; everything is fine,” Truex said. “It’s frustration. Heat of the moment. We talked Sunday night, Monday, and all week. Everything is fine. It’s just one of those things that happens.”

The former NASCAR Cup Series champion offered the reassurance Saturday at the Bristol dirt race. Truex said he and crew chief James Small, who went back and forth on the radio after the checkered flag last weekend at Richmond Raceway, have a great relationship, and sometimes frustration comes out.

“It’s part of what you do,” Truex said. “It’s intense competition.”

Truex finished 11th at Richmond on scuffed tires. He’d gone from fighting for the race lead when the final caution of the race flew and sent the field to pit road. The No. 19 team didn’t have a set of stickers, so Truex was a disadvantage.

At one point, he said it was a “(expletive) nightmare” as he battled to the end of the race. Further comments laced in frustration on the radio after the race caught everyone’s attention.

“We (expletive) hosed ourselves,” Small radioed. “We were (expletive) out of tires. We had that seven-lap scuffs there, so we were (expletive).”

Small further explained, “We had (expletive) scuffed tires on there because we hosed ourselves taking that set in stage one. So, we were (expletive) regardless. Sorry. We (expletive) up.”

Truex had no idea he was on older tires during the race.

“I wouldn’t have been so…surprised and frustrated,” he said. “I just didn’t know; it was a surprise to me. I would have been more prepared, I guess.”

Truex said he and Small didn’t discuss why he wasn’t told about the tire situation.

“I guess he was hoping I would do something magical,” Truex said with a laugh. “But it was really out of my hands at that point. I was just confused at first, obviously, because I didn’t know. And then just (expletive) off because I feel like we had the race won, and all that happened. It’s been like that for a while, and just ready for things to turn (around) and hopefully go our way one of these days.”

Winless since 2021, Richmond was also a continuation of mounting frustration. Although the No. 19 was one of the most consistent in the series last year, leading the series in stage wins through the regular season, they still missed the play offs. The team has seen multiple wins slip away through bad execution or misfortune.

“We’re working hard and doing all we know to do, and it’s just like, ‘What’s going to happen next?’” said Truex. “It’s a shame. The decision to pit in the first stage (at Richmond) was a radio issue, and that comes back to haunt us at the end of the race. He made the right decision; it just never got to me or my spotter because of the radio issue.

“It just builds up. Frustration builds up when things like that (happen), and it ends up costing you at the end of the day when it was a decision three hours ago.”

Truex enters Bristol (Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, Fox) ninth in the championship standings with one top-10 finish through seven races. He won the inaugural CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race on the Bristol dirt in 2021.