CORNELIUS, N.C. — Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS team moved from 18th to 16th in the championship standings after Sunday’s 14th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway. This weekend the Michael Waltrip Racing team visits Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Truex led 17 laps at Daytona and climbed as high as second in Phoenix where he also paid a visit to the Chicago White Sox training facility. Truex has welcomed many of the changes NASCAR instituted in the 2011 season including using the practice speeds to determine the qualifying order.
Martin Truex Jr. on NAPA Team’s Performance: “The last two weeks we’ve had top-five performances. At Daytona a wreck took us out and at Phoenix, we had a problem on pit road. All in all, my guys are doing a great job for me all weekend. We salvaged 14th in Phoenix, but this NAPA team is looking for more. We are doing everything we can to fix the little things. Our NAPA Toyota is performing really well so I am happy. This team has a lot to look forward to going into the Las Vegas weekend.”
On New Qualifying Format: “I absolutely love it from a competitor’s standpoint. There have been times when I have had a fast car, but drew a bad number. My qualifying effort essentially suffered for it. Now we have added another positive element to the show. For the fans, qualifying is even more exciting to watch now because the fastest cars are bunched together at the end. I think the fans like to see the excitement build as drivers start to bump each other off the pole.”
On Spring Training with the Chicago White Sox: “I was pretty good at baseball when I was a kid so to return to the field after 18 years was neat. I had some rust on me that’s for sure, but so did David (Reutimann), my brother Ryan and Michael (Waltrip). We did the whole nine yards with the White Sox — warm up, fielding and batting practice. It was a lot of fun to practice with the players and a few of them came with us to the track. It was cool to hang out with baseball players who are NASCAR fans because I’m a baseball fan too. I found out baseball is like racing. They make it look so easy when you watch them, but in reality, what they do is not easy at all.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
· Sunday’s race marks the 192nd NASCAR Sprint Cup start for Truex.
· This will be his sixth NSCS race at the 1.5-mile oval. His average start is 27th and his average finish is 20th. He has completed 1352 of 1356 laps (99.7%) and has led two laps in competition.
· On Sunday, NAPA Racing will host Honorary Pit Crew Member Ron Giesbrecht of Atwater, Calif. He will be honored in NAPA pre-race festivities and have his name decaled on the No. 56 NAPA Toyota.
· Check out NAPA Reserve Online. Visit www.napaonline.com to make shopping for an auto part easier. Order online and pick up at your favorite NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
· The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation has raised over $500,000 for community outreach programs benefiting children. Find out more: www.martintruexjrfoundation.org