It was a big weekend for my family in New Hampshire. On Friday my brother Ryan won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was a pretty big deal since my dad and me have won races in that series at New Hampshire. Now, a third Truex has been added to the winners list. It’s pretty special. I think it was really special for my dad. He was pretty excited. Ryan’s had a couple of races at Loudon where he had gotten close to winning. To finally get it was cool. Same thing with this whole season for him – they’ve been really close to winning about every race they’ve been in, but have come up short so it was cool to see him knock down that wall and get the win. He is a really good driver. He’s done a great job and has a very good team. He is now leading the points championship again. He had a strong car and it took him about 60 laps to get up front. Once he did, he pretty much checked out. I chose to watch the race from on top of his hauler. It was about a 10X10 area so I couldn’t pace too bad. It’s really hard for me to watch him race. I guess it’s a big brother instinct. Racing doesn’t make me nervous. I just want him to be happy and enjoy what he is doing. I really can’t explain why I get so worked up about it, but I do. I am so proud of him and it was so much fun to go back to victory lane with him. My dad and I were there with him. It was definitely a special moment for all of us.
As for my race weekend — the race didn’t go as planned but you will have days like that. When we unloaded the NAPA Toyota, we were way off. We made a lot of changes to the car and got it a lot better. I felt pretty good about it going into qualifying since we ended up 10th in practice. We made some air pressure adjustments to improve the car, but it actually hurt us. Also, the early draw really hurt us. We just got really loose. Qualifying is kind of what hurt us all weekend. For as long as I can remember, going out early at that track is tough. It was just slick and hard to get a hold of. If we could have just picked up two-tenths or so, we would have been in good shape.
We had a good car on Saturday and felt really good about our chances for Sunday. In the race, it turned out to be really hard to pass. We worked all day and got up to 16th. The NAPA Toyota had good speed. When we would get in clean air, we were as fast as the leaders. It was just a really hard run in traffic. What was really strange about the race was how long it went green. I can’t remember that race having long, green-flag runs like that. That made it really hard to make up positions. At one point in the race, the leader at the time, Jeff Burton, got hung up in traffic. I ran him down. Looking back, if we had known that the race would have gone green like that, we would have looked at taking two tires during our first stop. A lot of guys did do that and it helped them run well. We felt like we would have another opportunity to take that chance. We never really got it.
Our chance for a decent run came to an end when we pitted on lap 236. That’s when the caution came out. It cost us a lap-and-a-half. We worked hard and got 22nd out of it. It was obviously a finish that we really didn’t want or expect especially knowing how good we were. But the way I look at it, it was a lot better than the week before.
Today is a big day for me … well, not really. I turn 30. I just got a card from my staff at MTJ that says, “In Sympathy on the Loss of Your 20s.” That’s funny! I don’t feel 30 so I’m good with that. I am going to go out tonight for dinner and enjoy myself. Also, NAPA sent me a really nice framed picture from our announcement. The plaque said, “Welcome to the NAPA Family.” That was really nice and I appreciate it. So, thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful organization.