BROOKLYN, Mich. – No. 00 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Ryan Truex qualified second and raced in the top 10 most of the race before finishing 12th in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
The 18-year-old Michael Waltrip Racing driver ran in the top three the first 40 laps of the race outrunning Sprint Cup stars like Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. A tight-handling condition in the second half of the race prevented Truex from maintaining his pace, but he never ventured far outside the top 10.
Saturday's race marked the second appearance of the series' new car and first on an intermediate track.
“That was a lot of fun today. We had a good car. We were running with (race winner) Brad Keselowski there at the beginning. We made a pit stop and with this car being new and us never running it before we weren't sure about adjustments. We made an adjustment and it just didn't agree with the car. We learned for next time,” Truex said after the race.
Diamond-Waltrip Racing driver Trevor Bayne finished 11th – one spot ahead of Truex.
“At the end there we got it better and we were running up there. I had a lot of fun and have to thank NAPA and Tow Truck in a Box for helping me out this weekend and this team for giving me a good car. I think me and Trevor (Bayne) finished right in front of each other. It was a fun day and a lot of fun racing. I learned a lot for next time.”
Martin Truex Jr. sat on Ryan's pit box and gave his brother advice over the team radio throughout the race.
“He taught me pretty much everything I used in the race. He's been a lot of help and he was talking to me during the race and telling me what to do. He's definitely been a big help. It's been a fun weekend and I'm just happy we got out of here in one piece.”
Throughout the weekend, the younger Truex showed the poise of a veteran both on and off track. After the race he admitted a little bit of nervousness. A late-race scramble to avoid a slow car almost ruined his day.
“That last restart when that car blew up in front of me, I thought that race was over. I was dead sideways and I thought I was plowing into the wall. Somehow I got through it, but that cost us a couple spots. It is what it is and I had a lot of fun. Happy to have the car in one piece and have a decent run.”
Saturday's race marked Truex's second of six scheduled 2010 Nationwide races. Truex's next Nationwide appearance is at Richmond on Sept. 10.