CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 99 Pastrana-Waltrip Racing driver Ryan Truex heads to Richmond International Raceway for a Friday night showdown under the lights. This marks the 19-year-old driver’s second trip to the 3/4-mile D-shaped oval and only the second time in his Nationwide Series career that he is not seeing a track for the first time. After a solid run in Nashville last Saturday afternoon, Truex hopes his experience at Richmond and on other short tracks will lead him to his first career top-10 finish in the Nationwide Series. Currently, a 12th-place finish at Michigan is the rookie’s career best finish in the Series.
The 2009 & 2010 K&N Pro Series East champion is scheduled to race at least 10 races in 2011 while action sports star Travis Pastrana will drive the No. 99 Toyota in seven races beginning at Indianapolis in July.
RYAN TRUEX ON RICHMOND: “I like it a lot. It’s nice to go back to a short track. It’s a place where the racing is more in the driver’s hands. You don’t have to worry that much about aerodynamics and things like that. You just have to worry about your car handling good and hitting your spots on the race track. We ran good at Richmond in the Nationwide car last year even though our finish doesn’t show it. We got a lap down early in the race and were never able to get it back. By the end of the race, Mike Greci (crew chief) had the car handling good and we were running laps as fast as the leader. Hopefully, we can start where we finished last year and bring home a top-10 finish.”
ON GOING BACK TO A TRACK WHERE YOU HAVE RACED ON BEFORE: “I am looking forward to it. I won’t have to spend the first hour of practice learning the track. I know how I want my car to feel at Richmond so we shouldn’t have to make big swings and adjustments during practice. They should just have to make minor changes to make the car feel comfortable.”
ON RACING UNDER THE LIGHTS: “I like night races because it’s not as hot and I think it’s more fun for the fans to watch. Friday night short track racing takes me back to when I first started racing. The fans can see the sparks of the cars when we get together. I think it just adds more excitement to our races.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
· Michael Waltrip Racing, Gary and Blake Bechtel and Travis Pastrana own Pastrana-Waltrip Racing that fields Toyota Camrys out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C. The Bechtels have owned cars in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series since 1990. The Morgan Hill, Calif. residents’ teams have visited victory lane 10 times in the Nationwide Series.
· Truex will visit Dover International Speedway on Wednesday from 11 a.m.- 2:45 p.m. The Mayetta, N.J., native will help sell tickets, sign autographs for all the fans and give pace car rides to media and fans who attend the event.
· Truex is the only teenager to win back-to-back K&N Pro Series East titles (2009 & 2010) and he is the first driver to bring a championship to Michael Waltrip Racing.
· Pastrana will race in the K&N Pro Series East race and Denny Hamlin’s “Short Track Showdown” charity race at Richmond International Speedway on Thursday night.