Archive for April, 2010

Talladega

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

We got out of Talladega with a top-15 finish. We ran a conservative race to say the least because in the last five races there before Sunday, my best finish was 31st. I’ve always managed to get in the big wreck so to survive and start the final green-white-checkered restart in fifth position – I was really pleased with that. Unfortunately we got shuffled out in the end by Kyle Busch and that prevented us from getting the finish we were really hoping for. The same thing happened to my teammate David Reutimann. We had friends when we were pushing them to the front but when we needed a push, we had no friends. That’s Talladega. You try to help each other when you can and not hurt each other, but you get in a lot of different positions and a lot of things happen. The NAPA team lost a chance at some points when our top-five went away, but we still got a solid finish. It moved us up to 15th in the championship standings. We are in the hunt and less than 40 points out of The Chase.

It’s no secret that Reutimann has had a tough couple of weeks. He’s been running really well and it seems like every time he has a really good car, something happens to him. I feel bad for him.

For the NAPA team, we are still kind of hit or miss so we spent Monday at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. to prepare for this weekend’s race at Richmond International Raceway. Pat and I continue to work well together. We are on the same page. We just need a little more time to figure out the new Michael Waltrip Racing cars. The track time on Monday was really good for us and Richmond is a place that Pat and I have had success so hopefully we’ve got a good place to start when we roll our NAPA Toyota off the truck on Friday. I would really like to see us get a top-five finish for NAPA on Saturday night.

Speaking of NAPA, I had a great time on Thursday at the Employee Appreciation Day in Atlanta. Michael and I were both there along with Ron Capps. I enjoyed meeting everyone. It was a lot of fun. Everyone in the NAPA family has made me feel welcome and I appreciate it. If you want to see a video of what we did there click here:  http://bit.ly/b6cVPBI really enjoy being a part of NAPA’s racing program.

As we head into Richmond, I am hot on the campaign trail for the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote. This week I am campaigning on NASCAR Race Hub and Race Day.  We’ll keep you posted as to when to tune in. I cannot stress enough how much I want to be a part of the All-Star race. I have had the privilege of getting in all three ways – the Fan Vote, racing my way in and winning a Cup race. It doesn’t matter how I get in – it matters that we have a NAPA Toyota in the main event come May 22nd. If you have some time, please vote for me. Every vote counts! Vote here: http://www.nascar.com/promos/allstar/2010/vote/

 Have a good week and enjoy watching the race on Saturday night!

Texas

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Hi Everyone,

Texas was all about the rain and therefore, I was bored sitting on my couch in the motor home all weekend.

We were able to practice and qualify on Friday. Friday went OK. I had a really good qualifying lap going and then I hit the bumps in Turns 3 and 4. It cost us a bunch of time. Despite the bumps, it was a good pick up from practice.

The rainout on Saturday really hurt my NAPA AUTO PARTS team. We actually worked on race trim quite a bit during our only practice. Then we went into qualifying trim and found some things that we thought made the car better. We kind of went with that setup for the race and hoped we got it right.

In the race, we ended up struggling. Once again the bumps in Turns 3 and 4 hurt us and we couldn’t correct it. It was pretty frustrating to me. We walked away with a ninth-place finish and when I climbed out of the car, I told my guys Merry Christmas. We were lucky. I guess it made up for getting wrecked at the end of the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway when we were running third.

Regardless, our cars are very capable of running fast. I don’t think Pat and I quite understand them yet so losing the practice sessions on Saturday hurt my new team. I really believe we could have fixed our problems if we had that track time on Saturday. Our NAPA Toyota was decent. We just had a few trouble spots that with time, we could have gotten the balance we needed to be really competitive.

I think looking at the big picture with this new team, Michael Waltrip Racing does things differently than what Pat and I are used to. We’re still kind of searching and throwing things at it to try and find things that I like and the NAPA Toyota responds to. We haven’t really hit on it at a few tracks we’ve been to so far this season, but that’s what happens when building a new race team. The good news is we’ve had some good races as well. We’ve run smart. The championship points situation has us doing well. We just need to keep inching our way up through the points. I believe when it comes time, we’ll be able to fight our way into the Chase. Once we get there, we’ll be strong enough to be able to do something and that’s the important thing.

I am looking forward to this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. We had a test there with the spoiler on March 16 and it was a lot of fun. I think the racing is going to be really good especially with the addition of the rear spoiler. I really like going to Talladega. I’ve won races there in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Talladega hasn’t been that good to me in the Sprint Cup Series. I’ve run up front most of the time but ended up getting in the ‘big one’. It’s all about making it to the end and getting to the checkered flag for me. I am hoping I can repeat what we did at the first restrictor-plate race we had this year – the Daytona 500. We had a shot at the win.

Have a good weekend and enjoy watching the race on Sunday. Don’t forget – vote for me in the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote!

MARTIN TRUEX JR. BLOG: Phoenix International Raceway

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter break. Mine was pretty quiet. I had family over to my home. We ate and hung out by my pool. It was nice. I chose not to go and watch my little brother Ryan race at South Boston (Va.). Watching him race makes me so nervous. He finished third which was good and I am happy for Mike Greci and the entire team.

I headed off to Phoenix on Thursday and had a NAPA appearance at the NAPA AUTO PARTS store on E. Broadway Rd. We had a nice turnout and it was great to meet with everybody. The talk continues to be about my NAPA commercial. As I have said before, it’s not me singing. I would never do that to you guys. I just can’t sing.

The actual race weekend was a lot of fun except for Saturday night. The weather was great but the race was tough. I usually run well there, but for some reason it was hard to get a hold of. We made a big gain during our qualifying run and got a top-10 start, but we never could get a real grasp for it at all during the race.

I think one of our challenges is still trying to figure out the tires. At Phoenix, the tires were supposed to be what we ran last year in the fall, but for some reason, they felt completely different. They did not respond to the same type of set ups and adjustments that worked in the past. It was almost like the tires were completely different. The rain that they had during the winter may have effected the track too in some way. It could have been the reason why the tires responded so differently. We just don’t know. Whatever the reason, it caused us to really struggle to get any grip. I think most of the guys felt the same way. During practice there were a lot of cars that spun out and that doesn’t normally happen. It was strange.

We now head to Texas Motor Speedway. It’s another track I really like. It’s fast so I am looking forward to getting back on track and scoring some points. The Chase is very much in our reach. That’s all a new driver and new team can ask for and that’s impressive.


 Have a good weekend and enjoy watching the race on Sunday. Don’t forget – vote for me in the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote!