Archive for September, 2010

Dover

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

We had a lot to be happy about at Dover. My Foundation raised close to $200,000 and my brother Ryan won his second-straight K&N Pro Series East Championship. I was hoping to top everything off with a win and I felt like we had a shot at it. If the race was 200 laps we would have been in good shape, but it wasn’t meant to be. It’s just the way it goes and we’ll go back and try again. It is unfortunate that the rear axle broke. It’s something that doesn’t happen very often and for me, it was the first time an axle broke on one of my cars. What happened was we had a loose wheel under green. We pitted and put tires on it. It was just a combination of events where everything had to go perfectly wrong for it to happen. It ended our chances for a good finish. The good news is we were very competitive. We qualified third. We had good practices on Saturday. I felt really good going into the race. Pat did an awesome job tuning on the car Saturday and Sunday for us to start out of the box as strong as we did. The NAPA Toyota was really, really good. I wish we would have gotten to the end because we would have been racing for the win. It’s fun to go to the racetrack when you run like that.

This weekend I hope to have another good run to be excited about because our NAPA Toyota has a splash of pink on it to promote a very important program. NAPA is once again teaming up with Susan G. Komen All Out for the Cure® to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer. It’s the first time I have taken part in the program and I must say, I’m not one to wear pink, but for the Susan G. Komen All Out for the Cure, I will be happy to sport the color. The NAPA team is kicking everything off this weekend. We’ve got blue and pink hats available for race fans to purchase at their local NAPA AUTO PARTS store or AutoCare Center. They are just $3.99 and proceeds go towards the cause. Fans can also get the name of a loved one who’s been affected by breast cancer on our NAPA Signature Toyota by making a minimum donation of $5.60 by visiting www.napaonline.com or www.facebook.com/napaknowhow . That special paint scheme will run on Nov. 7 at Texas Motor Speedway.

It’s amazing the number of people who have come up to me now that I am helping with the program to tell me about someone they know that has been affected by breast cancer. I am proud to be associated with this program and the more people we can get involved the better. NAPA is making a generous contribution to help find a cure and I hope that by running the special paint scheme, offering up the Signature car promotion and selling hats that we can raise even more money. I also want to thank all the NASCAR fans in advance for stepping up and helping with this cause. I saw a guy last week at our NAPA Race Day Experience in Dover who had already purchased his All Out for the Cure hat. That’s awesome and I think it’s great that all of us — sponsors, teams and fans work together for a good cause.

Here is a photo of me checking out my NAPA All Out for the Cure Toyota. I look forward to driving it and hope to have a good run for all those people.

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Hunting in New Mexico

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Hi Everyone, After the Richmond race, I boarded a plane with Ryan Newman to go bow hunting in New Mexico. Our excursion is going to be on an upcoming show that will air on the Outdoor Channel. It’s from the Driven to Hunt team, but they are revamping the show and NASCAR is getting involved. I really enjoy working with those guys and I like having the camera with us. It’s nice to go back and look at all the footage. Normally if you are all by yourself, all you have are memories. I like to be able to recount everything by looking at the footage. Fortunately for me, every hunting show I have done, I haven’t missed so my good streak continues. When I know the details of the airdate, I will let everyone know. Ryan and I stayed up all night on the plane. We got to Albuquerque, New Mexico around 3 a.m. We went to sleep and then got up in the morning and drove out to the camp which was about three hours away. Our plan was to spot and stalk in the morning. We got up in a tree stand and it wasn’t long until we heard them bugling. The guides were a big help. They made cow sounds to call the elk to us. We didn’t see as many as we heard. We were ready to hunt in the evening and the first night we chose to be by a watering hole. The watering holes were popular because it was so hot during the day that the elk needed to come in to drink. We basically sat back and waited for them. One thing I did not expect to see was a black bear and her two cubs. I have never seen a black bear before so it was pretty darn cool. They were about 20 yards from me. I also saw a coyote come in which I really didn’t care for because they scare all the deer and animals away. I saw a bull elk but he was too small to shoot. But Newman on the other hand, he killed a monster elk. It was his first one ever! It was 6×7 and 363 inches. For the place where we hunted, it was one of the largest they had on site. Congrats to Newman! Tuesday was my big day. We were back at a watering hole and it wasn’t long for my elk to charge in. He was chasing cows. He was bugling and screaming. He was putting on a real show that’s for sure. I think it will be great footage for the television show and it won’t be long for the coolers to start showing up at my house. My elk was 6×6 and 310 inches. He wasn’t the biggest elk I’ve ever gotten, but I was still proud of him. The way he came in was really cool. I have included a picture.

Before I go, New Hampshire was a decent weekend for us. The NAPA Know How guys did a good job of adjusting on the car and we made up a lot of ground through the middle part of the race. On the last restart with about 70 laps to go, some of the guys stayed out. We chose to pit. We ended up getting shuffled back a bit and were in some major traffic. We also had a couple of bad restarts where I found myself three wide and on the outside. The outside was the absolute worst place for my car. Up until that point, we made a lot of good progress and were running 11th. I felt pretty confident that we could race into the top 10 and have a good day. It just didn’t work out for us. It was a big improvement with our flat-track program. I am really encouraged because we were so much better in comparison to Richmond. This weekend will be a big time for my family. My brother Ryan will be going for his second-straight K&N Pro Series East championship on Friday. I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished so far. When it comes to the actual Dover track, it’s a great place for me. I made my first Nationwide Series start driving for my dad. I won two Nationwide races. I got my first Cup win and then earlier this year, the NAPA team scored our first pole together. I am hoping we can back it all up with my first Cup win for NAPA.

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The Chase Starts & Foundation Golf Tournament

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

The Chase officially starts this weekend in New Hampshire with the field of 12 set. I know what it is like to be one of those 12 drivers and heading into the summer, I felt like the NAPA team was in good shape to make it. We had a lot of momentum going and then things started to happen that were out of our control. Infineon is obviously what comes to mind first. Regardless, we currently sit 20th in points, less than 200 markers out of the best finishing spot available of 13th place. It’s something we can accomplish because this NAPA team is a much better team than 20th.

Heading into the final 10 races of the season nothing changes from the standpoint that we are here to win. But what does change a little bit is our approach. We can take more chances now and use some of the track time as test sessions to prepare for next season so that we can improve our chances of making it in 2011.

One area that we will be working hard to improve is our ability to keep up with the track. It seems like we are really strong in the beginning of a race, but then our NAPA Toyota starts to go away at the midway point. Our car needs to be better heading into the final stages of a race. If we can improve that we should be in very good shape.

As for this weekend, I like our chances and it’s still a very exciting time for us as a team.

Coming up next Wednesday, I’ll be hosting my golf tournament. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been going on for three years. It seems like yesterday Sherry and I came up with the idea of starting a foundation. I want to thank NAPA for sponsoring the event. We’re hitting the links at the Sea Oaks Country Club in Little Egg Harbor Township in New Jersey. It’s about 30 miles from my hometown of Mayetta. Then we’re going to end the evening with the 19th Hole Dinner Celebration. The dinner is a lot of fun and we’ll be hosting our auction again. Last year Michael proved to be a really good auctioneer. Who knew, right?

I’m really proud of what my foundation has accomplished since Sherry and I launched it back in 2007. So far, we’ve raised more than $400,000 for a variety of community programs. This year we’ve got some new projects. We’re starting a backpack program for kids who go to the Troutman Elementary School in Troutman, N.C. We chose that school because it’s not far from where I live. Each Friday, kids who participate, will get a backpack filled with food and school supplies. We heard stories about some of the kids coming into school saying they were hungry and didn’t have much to eat on the weekends. I’m happy to say that on Friday the program will be kicking off.

We’re also getting ready to build a children’s wing at Southern Ocean County Hospital. It’s the local hospital where I was born. We’re calling it the Martin Truex Jr. Pediatric Unit. It’s going to be a really cool place where kids can go and get treated. We’re designing the place with them in mind.

Before I go, I want to thank everyone at NAPA and all of the fans who have made everything possible. It’s been very humbling to say the least. It’s great to see how we all can work together to make a difference. If you are in the New Jersey area next week or interested in finding out more, please visit http://www.martintruexjrfoundation.org.

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ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY 2

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend. It was a beautiful day here in Charlotte. I spent all day Monday in my pool. Sherry, Lexie and myself kicked back and relaxed. I did take time out to call Dave Moody at Sirius Speedway. I wanted to let all the listeners of his show know about this month’s NAPA Brakes promotion. I’ll also be on Friday night’s Trackside show on SPEED to talk about it. I hope we can help sell quite a few more brakes for you! The paint scheme we are running this weekend in Richmond looks sharp!

Today we’re on the track at Gresham Motorsports Park to do some testing. We are running pretty well, but we just need to keep getting better so that our top-10 runs equal top-10 finishes or even better. The extra track time should help us.

It was an awesome weekend to race in Atlanta. The weather was perfect and it was nice to visit with everyone in the NAPA suite and Race Day Experience. Joining the NAPA Know How crew was Mr. Susor and his family along with Gaylord Spencer and his wife Terri. I enjoyed having them along for the ride. For awhile there, I thought we had a chance to meet up in victory lane when the night was over. I have to say, I am disappointed with our 12th-place finish. For the most part, we had a really good night. The final five percent of our evening wasn’t as good. The lowest position we ran all night was where we finished. We just couldn’t get the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota to handle the way we needed it to. We had some really good runs through the middle part of the race. We had some good restarts to get some track position. But right there towards the end, we seemed to find ourselves in the wrong spot during the last two restarts. We got jammed up. What a lot of people might not realize is Atlanta is probably one of the toughest tracks on restarts. It’s pretty common to see a lot of drivers spin their tires because the track is pretty worn and slick. There were a few times when the leaders checked up to make sure the guys behind them didn’t get a run going and if you have to slow down at all before you go to throttle at the restart, it is really hard to not spin the tires. That’s what hurt us in the end especially on the restart when we came out on pit road with the lead. Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon chose to stay out and were on older tires. I was behind the 24 and when we got into Turn 1, Jeff all but stopped. I got stuck behind him and it cost us six spots going through Turns 1 and 2. It really hurt us because the caution came out about two laps later. We all pitted and my guys did a 12 second spot. I was surprised that our fast stop didn’t gain anything. We went in ninth and went out ninth. Then the final restart bit us too.

All and all, the NAPA Toyota ran pretty darn good all night. . I wish we would have done better at the end, but we learned and gained a lot from the race. We keep getting closer. As I’ve said before, we are a new team and a work in progress. I really had fun on Sunday night! It’s all coming together so stay tuned!