Archive for February, 2010

CALIFORNIA AUTO CLUB 500

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Hi Everyone,

It was a real unfortunate day for us at the California Auto Club 500 presented by NAPA this past weekend. We had a tough time on Friday. We qualified 34th and it looked like we were trying to set the car up for another track. I joked with Pat by saying one of Michael’s famous NAPA commercial lines, ‘I’m at the wrong track.’ The NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota just didn’t handle well. The guys got together on Saturday and did a really good job with the car. I felt really good about our chances after our two practices. I was really looking forward to the race and less than 70 laps into the event, we blew a motor. Losing the motor was a real shame for all my guys. They worked so hard to turn the car around. We got some real speed out of it. It was looking like we were going to have a good day, but it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s always disappointing when you don’t finish.

To get into The Chase, you have to be consistent every week. This is going to set us back a little bit, but I have no doubts that we will come back this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and have another great outing. I told Krista Voda during my FOX television interview that the year I made the Chase, the same thing happened. We blew a motor at the Auto Club Speedway. We have to look at the silver lining in all of this. We have a lot to build on as far as our race cars. I had fun while it lasted. We were driving to the front. I really thought we were going to have a good day and even my crew chief Pat Tryson thought we were going to have a shot to win it.

This past weekend also marked Michael’s first weekend at the track as a car owner and not a driver. He is a great car owner. What I like about him is he is extremely passionate about his company and racing in general. Just to see him in the garage this past weekend and getting a feel for what is going on and taking it all in is awesome. I know he’ll go back to the shop and make those owner decisions that will ultimately make us an even better race team. He’s been awesome on the road. I am really impressed with how he does it all. Besides that, he’s also a lot of fun to have around.

I got a lot of questions this week about my old team winning the Daytona 500 and Danica racing in California. First, I am very happy for my old team. I have a lot of friends on that team still and I am excited and happy for them. My NAPA team had a shot to win and we were up front racing with them. It was cool to see that. Obviously I would have liked it better if I was in victory lane, but I am happy for those guys. Most people know there’s no jealousy with me. I don’t sit there and say, ‘Why wasn’t I in that car?’ That would just be silly. I am happy for those guys and it means a lot to them. It was good to see it.

Second, I knew it was going to be 10 times more difficult for Danica to do well in California than at Daytona. The Auto Club Speedway is about as tough as it gets. It’s as fast as we go anywhere. There’s not a lot of banking and it’s really slick. It’s probably one of the hardest tracks to get your car working well in comparison to all the tracks we race all year long. It turned out to be a challenge for her as it is with most of us. Am I tired of hearing about her? Nah, not really. It is what it is. The pressure is on her, not on me. It doesn’t bother me to hear about it and the exposure she is giving to our sport is great. It’s a win-win for everyone in NASCAR.

Before I go, if you are going to be out in Las Vegas on Thursday, I’d like to invite you to my No Limit Texas Hold ‘em Charity Poker tournament. We’re having it at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino. Michael, Pat Tryson, Marcos Ambrose, Frank Kerr and Kurt Busch are planning to play. It starts at 12:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and our ongoing mission to help children in need. I expect it to be a lot of fun and as many of you know, I have held charity poker tournaments in the past. If you can’t come to Vegas, we’re planning to do another one in September in Dover, Delaware. If you would like more information, please visit my site: www.martintruexjrfoundation.org.


Daytona 500

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

MARTIN TRUEX JR. BLOG: Daytona 500

Hello Everyone –

The Daytona 500 was wild! I had a lot of fun out there in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. I am proud of our entire team and what we were able to accomplish over the entire Daytona Speedweeks. My pit crew was absolutely phenomenal as they averaged 12 second stops! That’s what a driver dreams about.

If I’d have to rate our performance, I would give it an A++.

There was drama. We saw two red flags to fix a pothole. Despite the delays, it seemed as if our NAPA Toyota got better each time we went back out. A break in play really didn’t hurt us.

NASCAR implemented a new green-white-checkered-flag rule when we got to Daytona and it was put to good use on Sunday. Now, NASCAR will allow for three chances to race to the finish instead of ending a under caution. During the 500, we were able to get it done with two green-white-checkered-flag finishes and it pretty much went down as I expected. There were a bunch of tore up cars, but I am sure the fans feel as if they got their monies worth. There were 10 or 15 of us that could have won the race just based on how the cards fell. It was suspenseful and even I couldn’t figure out what was going to happen. I enjoyed it out there as the guys used their heads and raced really hard, but never crossed the line and that even includes Kevin Harvick. When we took the lead going into Turn 1, he was pushing me. I knew he wasn’t going to push me to the win. He was doing what he had to do to put himself in a position to win. I felt him pull off my bumper and I tried to block. I couldn’t get there quick enough and he had me hooked. He was turning me. It is what it is and I don’t blame him for what he did. It was cool and it was a great race. I am really happy with the outcome for all of us.

Coming out of Daytona with my best-career finish is really exciting for me. Most importantly, we had a shot at winning the Daytona 500. I had high hopes during the off season. I felt like this would be my time. I felt like Michael Waltrip Racing was the place for me to come and step up my game. So far, it looks as if everything may fall into place. Pat Tryson has done an awesome job with the NAPA Toyota and my pit crew is fast. For our first weekend together, I’d say we will have more shots at getting to victory lane and that’s all I can ask for.