No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Martin Truex Jr. might not know who will be on top of his pit box Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, but he knows whomever it will be will have one goal in mind â continue the seventh-place teamâs momentum in 2012.Â
Truexâs crew chief Chad Johnston and wife Stacey are awaiting the birth of their first child in the Charlotte area. Last weekend Scott Miller, Michael Waltrip Racing executive vice president of competition, called the shots at Pocono. Miller will be on standby again if Johnston isnât in Michigan. Even if he remains in North Carolina, Johnston will remain in touch with the team throughout the weekend via cell phone and computer.
Truex expects the newly resurfaced two-mile oval to be ultra-fast during Thursday testing on the D-shaped oval as well as throughout the weekend.
Martin Truex Jr. on Michigan: âI expect Michigan to be fast. Itâs kind of interesting that we go to two race tracks in a row that are repaves because itâs totally different with a test day at them.Â Certainly the speeds we are hearing about the repave are pretty fast especially coming out of the straightaways. Itâs carrying the mail for sure for a stock car. I am sure it might be a little hairy out there the first couple of laps. I canât imagine what qualifying is going to be like. Itâs going to be impressive thatâs for sure with everything being taped up. I am going to bet that to get the pole, you will have to drive wide open. Itâs going to be wild and an exciting race for us to drive and for fans to watch.â
On Urgency to Win: âI donât feel any urgency to win at this point. To be honest, I feel good about where we are at.Â I feel good about what weâve done this season.Â For us, itâs just important to keep that going. The last couple of weeks havenât gone the way we wanted them to, so we need to turn that around.Â We just need to keep working hard to stay where we are at, push forward and get our cars a little bit better.â
Crew Chief Chad Johnston on Being Away From Track: âThe whole NAPA team is awesome. I couldnât ask for a better group of guys whether itâs the road crew, engineering staff or the shop folks at Michael Waltrip Racing, they all know what they need to do. Regardless if I am at the track or not, no one ever gives less than 110 percent. That includes me too. Iâm in constant contact with everyone. Last week at Pocono, my normal engineering staff was at the track who has worked with Martin for more than two seasons. They understand him as well as I do so there were no translation problems. The only real challenge I had was when I had a limited wireless connection. If I stay home this weekend, it will be OK. I discovered NASCARâs RaceView. It is an easy way to follow the race. Plus, Scott Miller is one of the best strategists out there. Iâve gone to him a few times during races to bounce things off of him, so if Scott is on the pit box again, the NAPA team is in good hands.â
On Michigan: âLooking at the last two repaves â Phoenix and Pocono, we may see the same situation at Michigan. At Phoenix and Pocono, they started out loose. But as the weekend went on, they tightened up. Obviously, the more we run on the track at Michigan, the more we will learn about the surface and how it will change throughout the weekend. Weâll adjust accordingly. I know it will be fast. It was fast before.â