New Hampshire Motor Speedway

June 29th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

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.

Post Michigan

June 16th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I’m doing well after my Flyers lost the Stanley Cup. I have my thoughts as to why they came up short, but it doesn’t really matter. They made an amazing comeback when so many people wrote them off during the season. I also caught a bunch of bass last week while on vacation so it was a great trip!

Last week at Michigan, we had to grind it for a 17th-place finish. It was a tough day. We were able to salvage something as it was pretty rough there for awhile. When I got out of the car after the race, I told Pat Tryson that I probably almost spun out 35 times. Spinning out doesn’t sound bad until you add the 200 miles an hour part. It was a strange day because we fought one thing in traffic and then fought a completely different condition when we got a clean racetrack. We would run for awhile and adjust on the car to do one thing and then we would find ourselves in a different situation so the previous adjustments would not work. It was one of those days where nothing seemed to go right.

I think if we expect to get better, we need to continue to try new things. There are some things that look great on the simulator and sometimes some things will feel great in practice. But when you get into race conditions, and around other cars, they don’t work in the way you had planned. I think that’s what happened to us on Sunday. Our NAPA Toyota was really running well throughout the weekend. I felt really good about our car after practice on Saturday. But again, we weren’t in that 20 or 30 car pack. It completely changed our car. It really caught me off guard. We just missed it. Today we had our competition meeting and we went through it all. I think we know what we did wrong. We’ll just go back there next time and prove ourselves right.

The last three weeks have been disappointing. We found ourselves in the top 12 in points and were on a little bit of a roll. Then we hit a few tough weeks. We missed it at Charlotte and Michigan and got wrecked on the last lap at Pocono while running in the top 10. That’s just how it goes sometimes. It’s up and down. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing is hard. The good thing is our new team is learning a lot of things – even if it’s what not to do. Hopefully when the time comes when we start going back to these tracks for a second time, we can focus on solidifying our Chase spot.

Coming up this weekend we have the Infineon Raceway. It’s a tough track for me, but fortunately I have a really good teammate to lean on. Marcos Ambrose has always been one of the cars to beat on road courses over the last few years. I am really going to feed off of him and try to learn as much as I can. He’s got a really good approach to road racing. It’s a different perspective than mine so I am looking forward to tackling Infineon in the “Marcos Ambrose” way. I think if I can follow his lead and all the small things fall into place, the NAPA team will come out of there with a great day.

Headed to Vacation!

June 10th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I am heading on vacation this week and it couldn’t come at a better time.

Pocono  — what a disappointment to leave there with a 25th-place finish. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team did a great job for me all weekend. We had a decent practice on Friday and had a mechanical problem during qualifying. It was strange. Coming down the long straightaway it was skipping really badly. It wouldn’t turn any RPM. It mysteriously went away off of Turn 1 and into the backstretch. The NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota was driving really well and I thought we were going to have a good lap if it wasn’t for the problem. We ended up qualifying 27th and according to my crew chief Pat Tryson; he was expecting the problem to have cost us more so we were lucky. We did find out what the problem was and got it changed out so we were good to go for the rest of the weekend.

The highlight of Pocono was going to the Flyers game on Friday night. Everyone at Pocono knew who I was pulling for as I wore my Flyers cap the entire weekend. I got the opportunity to attend Game 4 thanks to Toyota. Sherry and I flew down to watch the game in their suite. Ken Lee was a great host and I enjoyed meeting everyone. I remember going to the old Flyer’s arena – The Spectrum. I went there when I was four or five. This year, Sherry and I have gotten to attend several games with the Harvicks. We’ve had a lot of fun with it. The Flyers have won every game we attended and Friday night was no exception. It was a great game and we were pretty excited to see them tie the series back up to 2-2. Besides watching the game, I got to talk NASCAR and hockey with A.J. Perez of AOL’s I also had some fun with Jennapher Frederick of FOX 29 in Philadelphia. We taped a segment. She’s a big fan now of the NAPA race team so we’re hoping to have her join the NAPA team at the Dover race in September.

On Saturday, practice went well. We were 15th in the first practicd and ninth on the board in the second. Our NAPA Toyota was very competitive on the long runs. Then on Sunday, we got out on the track but weren’t able to take the green right away because a huge storm blew through. The rain delay was boring. I’d rather wake up and see it raining than stand around trying to figure out what’s going to happen because once you get in the car; you really don’t want to get out. The Flyers weren’t playing until the evening so there wasn’t much to do. Jim Noble of TNT’s Race Buddy online coverage stopped by to talk and then Phil Parsons was on his way to my coach to do a live TNT interview when NASCAR called us to our cars. We all were surprised when the call came because it didn’t take long to dry the track. It normally takes over two hours.

Once the race got going, we were doing pretty well. We were a little loose and wedge adjustments really helped my car. Pat made good calls and by halfway, we were up there around the top 10. The NAPA Know How Pit Crew did a great job as always. They helped me gain two to three positions most of the time. Then fuel mileage came into play. We did the best we could as about 13 slower cars ended up in front of us because they pitted out of sequence. It worked to their favor because we had to drive up from 22nd instead of eighth where we were originally. That’s what happens sometimes. We made it up to 12th when the final caution came out to set up a green-white-checkered finish. For us the last lap was ugly and it cost us. We had nowhere to go when Kasey Kahne crashed and we got collected. Our NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota was pretty much destroyed, but at least I could drive it across the line. I wasn’t happy when I climbed out of the car. We had a good car and of no fault of our own, a good points day was wiped out on the last lap. We did everything right on Sunday and that’s all we can do.

Now I’m going to rest up, enjoy some fishing and hopefully see my Flyers tie the Series back up. They had a bad Sunday too. Then it’s back to work on Friday in Michigan.

Go Flyers!


June 2nd, 2010

For a second there I was thinking Charlotte might become one of my favorite tracks. After Sunday, my feelings haven’t really changed much …

Thursday we unloaded the NAPA Batteries Toyota and I must say, I loved the paint scheme. It pretty much reflected all the positive energy that’s been happening with the NAPA race team.  A lot of people asked if we took the same car we ran last weekend. We actually brought a new car for two reasons. One, NASCAR had our All-Star car until Tuesday night because we won the Showdown, so they wanted to take it, just like they do with the winner.  So it would’ve been hard to wrap it with the NAPA Batteries scheme let alone get it race ready. The guys at MWR build all the cars the same so it wasn’t a big deal. It pretty much felt the same. We started with the same setup basically that we ended the All-Star Race with.  We had a few things we wanted to try and pretty much ended right back where we were.  It was really hard to judge today because the track was so hot.  It was a half-second slower right off the truck than it was last week and that was the same for everybody. Going through the motions, trying things, just trying to get a little bit different feel of what we’re looking for, but it was really hard when it was that slick out there. Everything went well for us in practice.  Obviously, conditions were a whole lot different than what we faced last weekend and definitely different from what we’d face on Sunday night.  Track temps were up in the 130s (degrees), so it was real slick out there making it hard to really judge what we’d be up against Sunday night. We were at a disadvantage when it came to qualifying. We had an early draw which meant a lot of good cars behind us would take to the track under cooler temperatures. Regardless, we were able to go out there and lay down a good lap. I didn’t think it would hold up for the pole, but I thought it had a shot at a top-10 starting spot. It was great to only have two cars beat us. To start third — I was proud of the NAPA team and all their work. 

Saturday was more of the same. The NAPA Batteries Toyota was on top of the board at the end of final practice. I felt pretty good about our chances for the Coca-Cola 600. I felt we needed to get a little bit better because it was tight in the center and free off the corners. Our focus was to get the center fixed because the NAPA Batteries Toyota had really good speed in it. Surprisingly, our car drove tight regardless of the temperatures over the last two weeks so I thought it would make it easy for us to work on it during the actual race.

At the start of the Coca-Cola 600, the tight condition remained and after 600 miles it still was tight. Our setup was very similar to David’s so it was tough to understand why we weren’t up there running for a top-five finish. We would have flashes of brilliance and then after an adjustment, the handling would go drastically away and it would be terrible. Pat and I are hoping after tearing down the car, the NAPA guys will find something that makes sense. We’re just baffled as to what happened out there Sunday night because we should have been up there running with our teammate.

Our 23rd-place finish dropped us to 14th in points from 12th. There are only 14 points separating us from being a Chase team. The NAPA guys and NAPA Know How Pit Crew continue to do a great job for me so we’ll keep plugging away. We’ve had good race cars and it’s great to see David back up there and running well. I know that if we do all the little things right and throughout the weekend, we’ll get back up there and have a chance to win races. It’s all just a matter of putting all the pieces together because it all adds up to a victory.

This weekend is Pocono. I’ll be nice and relaxed after going to two Philadelphia Flyers games. I’m pretty stoked. I like Pocono and have run well there. And Pat’s been to victory lane there so between the two of us and the NAPA Know How guys – we hope to be there with the trophy at the end of the race.

All-Star Weekend

May 26th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

What a weekend!

I want to thank all of you who casted a vote for me in the Sprint Fan Vote. After a long, hard-fought campaign, I did not win the Fan Vote … but I didn’t need it. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team went to victory lane Saturday night after winning the Sprint Showdown. It was awesome to race our way into the All-Star Race. Going into the deal, I thought we had a tough battle ahead of us when it came to earning one of the two transfer spots. Here’s why – on Friday the NAPA guys put a good car under me for qualifying and we were third quickest when rain blew through Concord. Four cars were left to make an attempt with really only one real challenger – Carl Edwards. Where I was sitting, we were going to line up no worse than fourth and in real contention of racing our way in. But after 10 p.m., NASCAR chose to cancel the remainder of the Sprint Showdown qualifying in favor of starting the NASCAR Truck Series race. That meant none of our times counted and the lineup would be the qualifying draw. We were going to start 20th in a 40-lap event … not good. I was worried because the field was stacked with drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton … you would have assumed were already in the race. Not so.

In the Showdown, we fought that track position and got real tight in traffic.  Pat made a few adjustments. We got two tires there during the first caution and got track position. Then it was just one at a time, picking them off.  They also was little bit of a skirmish with the 38 (David Gilliland) and that helped us open the door. Once we got up there to pass Biffle and got in clean air, our car got really good.  We took the win, but we still had some work to do for the All-Star race. It was awesome to get the win for NAPA and had a chance to challenge for a million bucks.

Our time to celebrate didn’t last long. It was time to go get the big bucks, but it wasn’t going to be easy as we were in the back again. This time we started 19th.  Track position at Charlotte is so important. During the race we ran mostly in the top 10. We did make a few adjustments on our car, but we had the same problems we had during the Showdown to really challenge for a top-five. But then the NAPA Toyota came to life during last two segments. The very last 10-lap deal, we got very good and were lucky. We were able to miss the big crash and when I got Kurt Busch in my sights with three laps to go, I could smell that cool million. If only I could have gotten to his bumper! We just got there a little too late. Everyone on the NAPA team did a good job, but we just ran out of time. Hopefully this weekend in the Coca-Cola 600, we’ll finish just one spot better!
Looking back at it all, I also won the Showdown in 2007. It was really big for my team and it really catapulted our season into winning and making the Chase. We challenged for five or six wins that year. Hopefully, this will kind of be that same start for the NAPA team. I feel like we’ve had a good season as a new team. We’re sitting 12th in the points and we’ve had some really good runs. I’ve been really pleased with Pat and the job he’s done with the team and throughout the races and the calls he’s made. Everything is really going well. It’s just a matter of us just getting better as a team and building up a little bit of a notebook. I like our chances and I think another win for NAPA is very much in our future.


May 11th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

What a weekend at Darlington. I absolutely love the place. When it comes to qualifying, for whatever reason, I don’t qualify well there. This weekend was no different. I was surprised however that we could only get a 33rd place starting spot, but as they say, it doesn’t really matter where you start. It’s how you finish. I wasn’t too worried about being back there because I had some really good company – Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick – they were all behind me. Plus, I knew from practice that my car was pretty fast in race trim and when the green flag waved, my NAPA Toyota had picked up 11 spots by the time we made our first pit stop on lap 46. We were just a little loose, but on the long runs, it was pretty darn stout.

Then we got into a wreck. Surprisingly, it actually didn’t hurt our car as much as we would have expected. Michael even told the team during today’s team meeting that he was amazed we were even able to continue. He thought our day was done because our crash happened right in front of our NAPA pit box in Turn 4. That may have been a blessing since the team could see what happened and then with the help of our spotter, Ty Norris, as well as my input, the NAPA Know How Pit Crew was ready to work on the car when I pitted. We gave the pit crew a new nickname by the way.  Anyway, it took two services under caution to fix our Toyota and I was amazed at how calm my guys were. The toe was really knocked out and Allen Mincey, the NAPA team’s front end mechanic, looked it over and pretty much got it realigned. I even commented during a caution at how laid back he was.

I am just amazed at how good my NAPA Know How Pit Crew is. Just last week, they were named the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew. It is a quarterly honor and very prestigious. It’s voted on by all the crew chiefs. They also remain on top of the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award standings.

All and all our Darlington race seemed as if it was one of those night’s where nothing would go right. We got caught up in the wreck. We fixed the car. We were one of the fastest cars on the track the rest of the race. Then we had a transmission issue on the restart and it cost us a lap. We could never quite get into contention to get the lap back. We were so close, but when I needed a caution, it never came. What is so frustrating is we were as fast as the leaders all night long. We passed so many cars. We put on a good show for our NAPA fans so that was a good thing. We were so much better than a 19th-place finish, but we still picked up another position in the championship points standings. We are now 13th, one spot out of Chase contention. There are just 16 points separating the NAPA team from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team. That’s not bad considering we now head off to Dover – my home track and it’s the place where I scored my first Sprint Cup win.

As you all know, the last couple of weeks I have been on the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote campaign trail as the race is less than two weeks away. My Tried and TrueX campaign is going really well. I’m actually having more fun than expected. I’ve made appearances on NASCAR Smarts and NASCAR Race Day on SPEED. I’ve also visited The Sprint Experience. This weekend at Dover, I’ll be a guest on Trackside which will air Friday night at 7 p.m. on SPEED. But for the first time ever, I’ve actually shot some vignettes that are now appearing on You Tube. Feel free to check out my first two Vote for Martin: Tried and TrueX spots at: and .


May 3rd, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I love night racing because it’s how most of us got started. I also like it because I get to sleep in. When it comes to Richmond, I love going there. I’ve had chances to win and I’ve also road the wall. I’ve done a lot of things. It’s a fun track that’s very challenging. It’s an accomplishment when you can run well.

During our two practices on Friday, we were pretty good in race trim, as far as speed and lap times were concerned. Then we went to qualifying trim near the end of Happy Hour and it did the same things it did in race trim — it just wasn’t fast. When we qualified, the track was really slick and it was hard to get a hold of. I just couldn’t get the car to turn at all and I couldn’t get any power down. I was disappointed with our 26th-place start because I normally qualify well. Despite our qualifying effort, I thought we were going to race well. It’s a long race – 400 laps so there was plenty of time to get to the front with our starting spot. 

When I left Richmond, I was feeling great! Our night looked easy on paper, but it was a tough night. We had to battle hard. We were really bad at the beginning of the race. I told Pat during the caution with about 10 laps to go that it didn’t matter what happened, I have never ever in my racing career experienced what we went through. Starting that bad and being able to make adjustments to constantly get better was amazing. For awhile, we were the best car on the track according to the Lap Tracker.

We’ll just keep digging. Our team is a work in progress. I love this team. They are doing a great job for me. I just got to thank NAPA and Toyota and everybody on the car for giving me this opportunity to come out of Richmond with a top-10 finish.

In case you missed it, I was hot on the campaign trail for the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote in Richmond. I campaigned on NASCAR Race Hub, NASCAR Smarts and NASCAR Race Day. I also visited the Sprint Experience to encourage fans to cast their vote at the Sprint Fan Vote display. I also want to thank Rutledge and Kyle Petty for endorsing me for at least 30 minutes during the NASCAR Smarts show. If I win the vote, I am taking them fishing. As I said before, if you have some time, please vote for me. Every vote counts! Vote here:

Coming up this weekend, I will be heading to my favorite track Darlington. The timing couldn’t be better as I will be going head-to-head against Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin in the finals of the DirecTV Head 2 Head Knockout program. If I can outrun all of them, I will take home $285,000 for my foundation. So far I have won $35,000 for my foundation so I want to thank DirecTV for allowing me to participate in this awesome program!

Enjoy watching the race this Saturday night!


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: 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:

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


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

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!