CORNELIUS, N.C. — It’s a busy and important time in the life of No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. – and that’s just describing the time before he arrives at Chicagoland Speedway for Sunday’s first of 10 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
Truex joined the other 11 Chase drivers this week fanning across America to promote the sport in the ‘Chase Across America’ national media tour. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver’s schedule includes an early Tuesday flight to Kansas to spend several hours with Sprint executives, members of the National Guard and local media before traveling to downtown Chicago. Truex and all Chase drivers will appear Wednesday at the House of Blues in the annual Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Day. After an 11:15 a.m.– 1 p.m. media availability, he’ll participate in ‘NASCAR Contenders Live’- the ultimate question-and-answer fan event staged by Toyota and Sprint. He’ll end the night at a NASCAR dinner.
After filming an ESPN feature. Truex will host a NAPA go-karting event before arriving at Chicagoland Speedway Thursday evening. Friday and Saturday includes practice and qualifying before Sunday’s race where he will start in a ninth-place tie just 12 points out of the Chase lead.
ON THE CHASE ACROSS AMERICA: “It’s going to be nuts but I am happy to be a part of it. I have been trying to get back in the Chase since 2007. We are going to Kansas on Tuesday for a media event at Sprint headquarters then on to Chicago Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. I know we are going to the House of Blues for a big media/fan event sponsored by Toyota, which should be fun. It should be a great week for everyone involved. The team is fired up and we are ready to get going and see if we can win this thing.”
ON GETTING A SOLID START IN THE CHASE: “I think it’s pretty important to get off to a good start in the Chase. I don’t think it’s devastating if you don’t but I think it’s important to get the momentum heading in the right direction. Chicago has been a good track for us in the past and I think we have a really good shot at a solid finish there. I think it’s a great place for us to gain some valuable momentum for the start of this Chase.”
ON HAVING TWO CARS IN THE CHASE: “I think it’s going to be helpful to have Clint (Bowyer) in the Chase. He brings a lot of experience and knowledge of the Chase. It’s also helpful to have a team not in the Chase. They can take some chances and work on some stuff that maybe we wouldn’t chance in the next 10 weeks. I think we have a good mix. Obviously, it’s been a total team effort from all three teams to get us where we are this year. I feel like that needs to continues over these Chase weeks. I just think it’s awesome that we have two cars strong enough to be in the Chase and three cars strong enough to win each week.”
TRUEX JR. AT CHICAGO: Truex Jr. has six starts at Chicagoland Speedway. He has one top-10 finish. The Mayetta, N.J., native has an average finish of 18.2 and has led 28 laps.
FIRST 26 RACES: Truex Jr. owns one pole, six top-five and 14 top-10 finishes through the first 26 races this season. He has led 423 laps in 11 different races with an average finish of 11.3.
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