CORNELIUS, N.C. – Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced today that NAPA AUTO PARTS has signed a multi-year contract to continue its primary sponsorship with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organization, and has named two-time Nationwide Series champion and 2007 Chase participant Martin Truex, Jr. as its driver.
Starting in 2010, the car number on the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota will be the No. 56, a number that has been in the Truex racing family for three generations. MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip, the only full-time driver NAPA has had since joining the Sprint Cup division in 2001, will drive a limited schedule, to include the 2010 Daytona 500 driving the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota - an event in which Waltrip and NAPA have shared two memorable victories. Waltrip will retain the number 55. The owner points earned during the 2009 Sprint Cup campaign will be transferred to Truex’s full-time effort.
“NAPA AUTO PARTS and Michael Waltrip have grown synonymous and it means the world to me that we were able to extend our long-running relationship,” said Waltrip who drove NAPA into victory lane six times. “They have been an integral part of my driving career, and now, they will continue with me as I transition into my role as full-time owner.
“I’m really proud of what I was able to accomplish as the driver for NAPA over the past nine seasons, and we still have more opportunities to win together. But I’m also proud of how Michael Waltrip Racing has matured over the past two and a half years and the momentum we have gained since starting from scratch. NAPA extending its support of MWR enables us to continue our assault on a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.”
“NAPA has been a great supporter of MWR's and I'm looking forward to being a part of their family,” remarked Truex. “I've been going to the local NAPA store in New Jersey where I grew up since the age of 16 to buy auto parts for my first Jeep. I'm honored to carry their logo and look forward to helping them with their success in NASCAR.”
“Today is a significant day for NAPA Racing as we are proud to be a part of this new chapter at Michael Waltrip Racing,” said Bob Susor, NAPA President. “We have tremendous respect for Michael, his success and the world class race team he has built. Now begins a new chapter for NAPA Racing as we welcome Martin Truex, Jr. as the driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. As Martin mentioned, he has been a NAPA customer since the age of 16 and we look forward to building on that relationship. He is one of the most exciting and competitive young drivers in the sport and we anticipate many successes both on and off the track.”
The 29-year-old NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver from Mayetta, N.J., joins MWR with an impressive résumé as he has won back-to-back NASCAR Nationwide Series championships in 2004 and 2005. And in just four full seasons competing in NASCAR’s premier division, he has produced two poles, one victory, 12 top-five and 34 top-10 finishes. He has not finished lower than 19th in the Sprint Cup championship points standings.
"I am looking forward to this new chapter in my career with Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota,” added Truex. “This team has grown tremendously in the past two years, and has proven they have the ability to be competitive week in and week out. I am excited to see what we can do together with NAPA as our sponsor."
The No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry will make its debut next season during Daytona Speedweeks. Truex will team up with his new owner, Michael Waltrip, as they both will be running for NAPA AUTO PARTS in the 52nd Annual Daytona 500.