Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 9/1/14
CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. has always looked up to his father, Martin Sr. Known as the Clam King of N.J., Martin Sr. built a seafood business from one boat into Sea Watch International, the biggest producer of clam products in the world. But it was what he did on the weekends that Truex Jr. wanted to emulate. Martin Sr. drove the No. 56 around the short tracks of the Northeast including: 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series, 135 K&N Pro Series East (1 win, 10 top fives, 42 top 10s) and seven Whelen Modified Tour Series events. This weekend at Michigan International Speedway, it will be the son wheeling the No. 56 for Michael Waltrip Racing in hopes of capturing the win as his dad watches from home on Father’s Day. Martin Truex Jr. Thoughts On His Father’s Influence: “My dad is the only reason why I ever got into racing. And for as long as I can remember, I loved watching him race the modified at Wall Stadium (Wall Township, N.J.). It was one of my first memories of racing in general. Another favorite memory I have is going on the road and traveling with him to some Busch North races. I went up to New Hampshire and I got to see him race a little bit in the Nationwide Series, back then the Busch Series. His car was parked right across from my hero, Dale Earnhardt! What kid wouldn’t think it’s cool to see his dad running against the Intimidator? It was the coolest thing. As I grew up, that’s all I ever wanted to do was race because my dad did it. He did it well too. The most special memory I have, I wasn’t even with him. I had to stay home because of school. I watched him win at New Hampshire in 1994 on TV. I was sitting there just watching him on TV and cheering for him. It was his first race on live television. It was incredible and on TNN back in the day. Darrell Waltrip was one of the commentators I think. Buddy Baker was on. It was one of the coolest moments for me as a kid. I was watching my dad win on the big stage.” Truex at Michigan: “Michigan is really going to be an important race for us. We had such a strong May we climbed into the top 10 in points. Then the last two races we lost ground because of mechanical issues and are 31 points back now. It’s doable but we can’t dig the hole any deeper with only 12 races to go. We have no more mulligans left if we are going to make the Chase again. Last year we had strong performances at Michigan. I can’t wait to see how the track has aged since the winter. It should still be really fast so I look forward to seeing what Chad has in store for us. A top-10 is a must for us this weekend. Of course, a win would be even better.” GET LUCKY WITH TRUEX: Truex is taking with him to Michigan a clay replica of the No. 56 Toyota. It was handmade by Mandy Stutler of Galloway, W.V. TRUEX AT MIS: Last season, Truex ranked eighth in driver points earned at MIS. In 14 starts, he has two top-five and four top-10 finishes. His average start is 13th and average finish is 17th. -Michael Waltrip Racing PR

Porn star gets into funny Twitter exchange with Eagles player

Report: Muschamp is Auburn's next defensive coordinator

NFLPA responds to denial of Adrian Peterson’s appeal

Teammate: Johnny Manziel a ‘nightmare’ to practice against

Adrian Peterson appeal denied

Raiders had to study game tape to learn celebrating techniques


The NBA is considering shortening the preseason

More key evidence thrown out in Aaron Hernandez trial

Reports: Bruins 'front runners' to host 2016 NHL Winter Classic

Carmelo: Waiving no-trade clause would make me weak

Report: Patriots doctor altered report to recoup player's bonus

Josh Gordon maintains effort no matter the quarterback

Yoenis Cespedes’ value lies solely in his name

Report: 2016 Winter Classic will be held in Boston

Four transactions that slipped through the cracks

Why the NFC South winner will really be a loser

Buckingham Palace absolves LeBron of breaching ‘royal protocol’

Sugar Bowl ticket prices up 213% since OSU’s last appearance

Winners and losers of 2014 MLB Winter Meetings

The Knicks show why not rebuilding is even more painful

Tim Tebow to make broadcast booth debut at Peach Bowl

Bruce Arians had an awesome postgame conference

Urban Meyer's wife has hair catch on fire blowing out candles

Game of the week: 49ers vs. Seahawks

Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Adrian Peterson appeal denied

Winners and losers of the Winter Meetings

Key evidence tossed in Hernandez trial

Porn star, Eagles player have funny Twitter exchange

Game of the week: 49ers vs. Seahawks

Olivia Munn talks sex life, Rodgers

Sharper indicted on rape charges

Man steals $1.5M in LeBron sneakers?

10 MLB Winter Meetings takeaways

The best sports media feuds of 2014

Jeter advises on how to avoid bad press

Video surfaces of Kobe's practice tirade

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.