Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ryan Truex, No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, K&N Pro Series South Boston Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — After leading 127 laps and dominating most of the race, Ryan Truex didn’t like his 15th-place finish in Saturday night’s K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville Pickens Speedway. But history shows a slow start is only a minor detour in his bid to repeat as series champion.

Last season, Truex began his rookie campaign with a 14th-place finish at the South Carolina track then went on to capture three victories and Michael Waltrip Racing’s first championship. The 18-year-old plans to begin his 2010 comeback Saturday afternoon at the fourth-tenths mile South Boston Speedway in Virginia where the younger brother of Martin Truex Jr. is the defending polesitter.

QUOTES

ON GETTING HIS SEASON BACK ON TRACK: “It’s too early to panic but the season is only 10 races long, so you definitely don’t want to have two bad races in a row. We had a really strong car last week. If my guys can give me another strong Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota for Saturday, we should be fine.”

ON SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY: “South Boston is really the place we turned our season around last year. We struggled at the beginning of the season. Then we came to South Boston and won the pole and finished third. It was a great weekend for us and we built on that momentum.”

ON DEFENDING HIS K&N SERIES TITLE: “It’s definitely different this year. Last year, no one knew who I was. Now that I’m the champion, everyone’s gunning for us. You really have to be on your game each weekend. There are a bunch of rookies in the series this year and they all want to prove that they can race with you. ”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

• Last weekend at Greenville Pickens Speedway Truex started the race second and grabbed the lead on lap three. He led a race-high 127 laps before being involved in an incident on the final restart to cross the finish line 15th.

• Truex won three races and the series championship in 2009, but did not lead the most laps in any race. His first career Wix Lap Leader Award came last weekend at Greenville Pickens Speedway.

• South Boston Speedway was the site of the Mayetta, N.J., natives first career K&N Pro Series East pole. His success at South Boston last year started a string of seven-straight top-three finishes.

• Truex is the third member of his family to compete in the K&N Pro Series East. His father, Martin Truex Sr., and his brother Martin Truex Jr. also competed in the series.

• Saturday’s event marks the fourth consecutive year that South Boston Speedway has hosted a K&N Pro Series East event. The track opened in 1953.

• Truex is expected to compete in five Nationwide Series races in 2010.

Trevor Bayne, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine - Nashville Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Tennessee driver Trevor Bayne heads to Nashville Superspeedway for Saturday night’s Nationwide Series race that promises an extra $25,000 in the winner’s purse for any series regular. The Knoxville native qualified second at Nashville in June in just his second start. Bayne’s qualifying effort and performance the rest of the season led owners Michael Waltrip, Gary Bechtel and Blake Bechtel to select Bayne as the driver for the newly created Diamond-Waltrip Racing team for the 2010 season. The new team enjoys partial season sponsorship from Aaron’s but is aggressively pursuing additional sponsorship opportunities. Bayne, one of NASCAR’s rising stars, already posted three top-10 finishes in just 19 career starts including a sixth-place finish in Las Vegas this season.

QUOTES

BAYNE ON NASHVILLE: “Nashville is where I made my debut for Michael Waltrip Racing so it’s going to be cool to go back there where it all started. We qualified on the outside pole last year which was way over our expectations. During the race we raced in the top 10 until we got wrecked. I know we can run good there and I really love the race track. It really fits my driving style. I have a lot of confidence in our team after the car they brought me in Bristol. I am really excited to see what kind of car the Diamond-Waltrip team will bring for me this weekend. The Bechtels and Michael are giving me a great opportunity here and I think we have a chance to do really well and hopefully bring along some corporate support in the coming days. We’ll be a great deal for a sponsor for sure.”

WHAT IS YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING THE DASH 4 CASH AT NASHVILLE? “I really like the Dash 4 Cash program. I think it gives us and extra incentive go out there and try and win the race. It also bring some extra attention to the NASCAR Nationwide Series. I think we have a good shot at winning the extra money. We have had some really good race cars lately and we have proven that we can run up front. Now we just need to be around the top five at the end of the race. I am really excited for this weekend and hopefully we can come home a little richer.”

BAYNE ON THE NASHVILLE TROPHY: “The Gibson Guitar is probably one of the coolest trophy’s that you can win. I think everyone wants to win at Nashville just so they can get a guitar. I don’t think I could smash the trophy like Kyle Busch did last year. Sam Bass does such a great job painting the guitar I just don’t think I could see all that hard work go to waste. It’s a one of a kind trophy that I would really like to hang on my wall one day soon.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

• For the non-Aaron’s races, the Diamond-Waltrip team will alter its paint scheme running a plain hood and moving the Diamond-Waltrip logo to the quarter panel.

• Bayne made his Michael Waltrip Racing debut last June at Nashville Superspeedway. He started the race second and was involved in an incident with just under 100 laps remaining and finished 28th.

• Last weekend, Bayne and driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. visited Jackson Hole, Wyo. to snowboard and snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park. For additional pictures contact Stacie Fandel at sfandel@michaelwatlrip.com.

• This weekend Bayne has a chance to win an extra $25,000 for his team thanks to Nationwide Insurance’s “Dash 4 Cash” program. This program is a bonus program implemented to develop and support NNS regulars, up-and-comers and those who compete part-time in the series (Sprint Cup drivers must compete in every Nationwide event in order to qualify for the individual race payout. Should a winner not be eligible for the $25,000 bonus, the prize money will roll over to the next “Dash 4 Cash” race.

• Bayne will sign autographs and participate in a Q & A at the Nashville Race Fan Festival. The event will take place at the Camping World on 2633 Music Valley Dr in Nashville, Tenn. from 5-8 p.m. local time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Michael Waltrip Racing - Martinsville Race Report


• Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - finished fifth - now 18th in points.

• David Reutimann, No. 00 TUMS Toyota Camry - finished 28th - now 24th in points.

Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: It was a rather calm 500 laps at Martinsville Speedway for Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota—until the end. That’s when Truex’s day turned exciting, but when the race was over the New Jersey native walked out of the Virginia half-mile with a fifth-place finish—the best of his career. Truex started in 20th and kept a fast steady pace throughout the early going. He used some quick pit stops by the NAPA crew and slowly climbed his way up the leader board. Truex looked destined for a tenth-place finish, but a late caution in the final ten laps saw crew chief Pat Tryson call Truex to the pits for new tires. He lined up 11th for the restart, but with new tires. Others in front of him elected to stay out on slower older tires but with better track position. In the exciting racing that followed, Truex worked his way to sixth when Kyle Busch’s accident forced a green-white-checkered finish. Truex lined up behind eventual race winner Denny Hamlin but couldn’t quite follow Hamlin through traffic and gained one spot in the final two laps to finish fifth— his second top-10 finish of the 2010 season.

Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota

• Truex Jr. started 20th and finished fifth

• The fifth-place finish marks Truex's best finish of the 2010 season and his career-best Martinsville finish.

• Truex owns 15 top-five and 40 top-10 finishes in his career.

• The No. 56 team methodically worked its way through the field and was able to gain several positions on pit road

• Truex moved into 10th just before the halfway mark and eighth by lap 373.

• Truex looked destined for a 10th place finish when Jeff Burton brought out a caution with eight laps remaining.

• Truex pitted for tires and restarted 11th while many in front of him stayed out on the older tires.

• Truex moved to sixth when Kyle Busch crashed on lap 499.

• On the green-white checkered restart, Truex climbed into the top five.

TRUEX QUOTE: “Usually we’re on the wrong end of the deal at the end there. It was a good run for us today. My NAPA Toyota was good all day. We were just solid and ran around the top-10 all day. The guys had awesome pit stops as usual – that helped us a lot. Pat (Tryson, crew chief) did a good job making adjustments on the car and calling the race. At the end we were right where we needed to be. We were in the right position, we had the tires – just one little break there where the 11 (Denny Hamlin) got through the hole and I couldn’t quite follow him. Great day for us. It’s my best run ever here at Martinsville so I’m real happy with it.”

David Reutimann Race Summary: David Reutimann’s chances for a good finish Monday at Martinsville Speedway looked rather bleak around the lap 75 mark when he was stuck in the mud inside turn where he slid avoiding a potential accident. But the Michael Waltrip Racing driver managed to get out of the bog and returned to pitlane where the Rodney Childers led crew made repairs. After returning to action, Reutimann made up two laps slicing through the field on the half-mile Virginia track. In the second half of the race Reutimann continued the charge climbing up to 15th by the lap 300 mark. On lap 460, Reutimann radioed crew chief Rodney Childers a distress call of, “no brakes, no brakes!” with was followed by a cut right side tires laps later. Reutimann and the No. 00 Toyota came to pit road for right side tires, but returned to the race several laps down in 28th place, where they would eventually finish.

David Reutimann, No. 00 TUMS Toyota

• Reutimann started 24th and finished 28th

• Reutimann held his position in the early going

• On lap 75 Reutimann spun to avoid an accident, but got stuck in the grass and lost a lap

• Accident dropped him to 38th position

• Reutimann earned the Lucky Dog Award and returned to the lead lap on lap 171.

• Restarted in 26th on lap 180— on lead lap.

• At the halfway mark, Reutimann raced in 17th.

• Reutimann raced up to 14th late in the race before suffering a cut tire with less than 50 laps to go.

• Reutimann came to pit road for repairs and returned to the race track in 28th position several laps down.


REUTIMANN QUOTE: "That was a tough day. We lost a couple laps early and that set us behind, but the TUMS team really battled back and was on our way to a top-15 finish until we lost our brakes with about 60 laps to go. Its just frustrating. We've had some really great cars this season, but unfortunately it just hasn't produced the results we'd like."


RACE NOTES:

• Denny Hamlin led Joey Logano across the start/finish line to record a 1-2 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing.

• Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.

• Hamlin gave up the lead with less than 10 laps remaining to get tires during a caution.

• He then used a green-white checkered finish to move from ninth to first in just four laps to win.

• He crossed the start/finish line . 670 seconds ahead of Logano.

• There were 24 lead changes among eight drivers and 13 cautions for 79 laps.

• Race took 3 hours and 39 minutes before an estimated crowd of 40,000. Rain on Sunday postponed the race until Monday.

• Points leader Kevin Harvick fell out of the race early with brake problems.

• Jimmie Johnson assumes the points lead by 14 points over Greg Biffle.

Late Race Incident Spoils Truex's Run


Michael Waltrip Racing development driver Ryan Truex began defense of his K&N Pro Series East title with a 15th-place finish in Saturday’s race at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway.

Truex’s finishing position in the event, however, was not indicative of how well he and his No. 00 MWR Toyota performed throughout the event. Truex qualified on the outside pole and took the lead from pole sitter Cole Whitt on lap 3. He would go on to lead a race-high 127 laps and routinely drive away from the field on each restart.

In a race that saw 13 caution periods, Truex would manage to avoid trouble until a restart on lap 137. The Mayetta, N.J. native missed a shift on the restart, stacking up the field behind him. A multi-car accident ensued and involved several of the top cars.

The red flag waved and the race was stopped while safety crews cleaned up the debris. Truex lost a number of positions in the accident and lined up sixth for the final restart. He quickly advanced to the fourth position before contact with another competitor sent him into the backstretch wall. The No. 00 Toyota was badly damaged, but Truex managed to limp it home to finish 15th.

Darrell Wallace Jr. won the event, but Truex was able to see the big picture when discussing the evening.

“We finished 14th in this event last year and we were still able to win the championship, so we’ll be fine,” said Truex. “It’s not how we wanted things to end tonight but the main thing for us is that we had a great car. I’m really proud of my guys. My car was fast and handled great.

“We’ll just put this behind us and get ready for South Boston.”

The next event on the K&N Pro Series East calendar is Saturday’s South Boston 150 at South Boston Speedway.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

BEST WESTERN & MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING UNVEIL STOCKCAR RACING’S FIRST-EVER “TWEET CREW TEAM”

BEST WESTERN & MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING
UNVEIL STOCKCAR RACING’S FIRST-EVER “TWEET CREW TEAM”

This First-of-its-Kind Team Will be Introduced Before the Sprint Cup Series Race at the Phoenix International Raceway on April 10, 2010

CORNELIUS, N.C. (March 25, 2010) – Best Western, The World’s Largest Hotel Chain®, in conjunction with Michael Waltrip Racing has developed stockcar racing’s first-ever “Tweet Crew Team, ”with three Twitter correspondents selected to cover the NASCAR race in Phoenix on April 10, 2010.

As part of a national “Tweet Crew Team” job search, fans were asked to submit an application, which included a link to a creative video or picture, to become a member of this historic team. Best Western and Michael Waltrip Racing received hundreds of applications from excited racing fans hoping to be one of three people chosen to travel to Phoenix and work as driver David Reutimann’s team of Twitter correspondents.

When Reutimann arrives at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, April 10, he’ll be followed by the newly-selected “Tweet Crew Team,” which includes Randall Martin, a father and longtime racing fan from Worcester, Mass., Rebecca Kivak, copy editor and avid NASCAR Tweeter from Plains, Penn., and Nancy Mills, an actress and contractor from Cordova, Tenn.

The Tweet Crew Team will spend the afternoon Tweeting about every twist and turn David makes on-and-off the track. Each “Tweet Crew Team” member will be provided with a smartphone that has camera capabilities to enable “Twitpics.”

“While my pit crew team will keep me racing during the Subway Fresh Fit 600 in Phoenix, our ‘Tweet Crew Team’ will put NASCAR fans in the middle of the action throughout the weekend,” said Reutimann. “Fans will get a driver’s perspective into everything that goes on behind-the-scenes at the racetrack, as well as a never-before-seen play-by-play of the race – from start to finish – on Twitter.”

The “Tweet Crew Team” will give racing fans a written play-by-play of the race in 140 characters or less via Twitter from the team’s different vantage points around the track. Fans can follow all the heart-pounding and intimate action by logging onto www.twitter.com and following the team at @tweetcrewteam.

Additionally, fans watching the race from home and following the “Tweet Crew Team” on Twitter will be given the chance to win prizes including official Best Western Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing gear, as well as earn Best Western Speed Rewards® points that can be redeemed for future hotel stays and a wide variety of merchandise.

One lucky Best Western Speed Rewards member, Best Western’s loyalty program for race fans, will also win a Best Western Travel Card® valued at $500.

As part of the promotional grand prize, the first-ever “Tweet Crew Team” will receive roundtrip airfare to Phoenix, hotel accommodations, local transportation, as well as a Best Western/Michael Waltrip Racing- branded team uniform and VIP access to the track for the race. The winners will also have the opportunity to join Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann in a race day press conference for the unveiling of the Best Western and Michael Waltrip Racing “Tweet Crew Team.”

“With our newly-formed Tweet Crew Team, we’re once again giving fans a unique opportunity to get closer to drivers Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann than ever before,” said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “Our guests have come to count on Best Western to create integrated and exciting promotions that fully leverage our partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing and create one-of-a-kind experiences for the fans.”


To join Speed Rewards log onto www.bwracing.com.



ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL

Best Western International is THE WORLD'S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN®, providing marketing, reservations and operational support to over 4,000* independently owned and operated member hotels in 80* countries and territories worldwide. An industry pioneer since 1946, Best Western has grown into an iconic brand that hosts 400,000* worldwide guests each night. Equally committed to the business and leisure traveler, Best Western recently embarked on a mission to lead the hotel industry in customer care. World Vision is the charity of choice for Best Western in building the world's largest family, with our hotels and staff sponsoring children in need around the globe. Our partnerships with AAA/CAA, Michael Waltrip Racing and Harley Davidson help guests make the most of every trip. For the fastest way to a free night, join Best Western Rewards®, the only hotel frequency program that's truly global. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.bestwestern.com.



*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Martin Truex On All-Star Race, Martinsville


CORNELIUS, N.C. — NAPA Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. has been on the campaign trail so-to-speak. Last week he was the featured driver at the Sprint All-Star press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway where he asked fans to vote for him starting tomorrow. He also gave NASCAR his vote of approval for removing the wing in favor of a spoiler beginning at this weekend’s Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Change is good as far as this racer is concerned and he’s hoping his luck will change at Martinsville — a track he considers to be one of his toughest.

QUOTES

TRUEX JR. ON THE SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE: “I have been fortunate to have raced in this event three times. I was voted in. I raced my way in and qualified my way in by winning a Sprint Cup Series race in Dover. I can tell you this is an event we all want to be a part of. We put a lot of effort into it. I think it is awesome to get the pit crews involved this year. I think it will be incredible. I have the best pit crew this year. Hopefully I will get the chance in those last 10 laps to show what they can do. I am campaigning this year for the Fan Vote. This is truly a no holds barred event – the best of the best from NASCAR Sprint Cup racing going at it for all the money – a million bucks. There’s nothing better than that. We want to be a part of it. I want to thank all the fans for voting in advance.”

TRUEX JR. ON HAVING THE SPOILER DEBUT AT MARTINSVILLE: “So far everything we have done with the spoilers has gone really well. We had the Talladega test (March 16) and it went really well. We also tested it about two months ago (Jan. 12 & 13) at New Smyrna on a short track. Obviously the Charlotte test is where it really matters the most and today and tomorrow are going to help us learn a lot about the car. My first reaction about going to the spoiler was it looks better. From a competitive standpoint, every car I have ran except for the last two years in my entire life had a spoiler on it. I feel more comfortable with it. I’m a fan.”

TRUEX JR. ON MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY: “I haven’t had a lot of success at Martinsville for some reason. I have always qualified well. I have had a couple of front row starts and started third in last year’s fall event. For me the biggest challenge is the track is so much different when the race starts on Sunday than it’s been all weekend. We tend to run really well on Friday and Saturday. When you get all the cars on the track on Sunday after the Truck race or whatever is run on it on Saturday, the rubber build up starts to get really bad during the race around the bottom groove. When it gets bad, I have trouble getting a hold of the track. Pat Tryson and I have talked a lot about Martinsville and I wish I knew what Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin were doing because I would do it. They are so good there. They know what it takes. Hopefully with Pat’s help, I can change my luck at Martinsville. It’s been a tough track for me.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

The driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota will be competing in his 159th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

He will be starting in his ninth race at the 0.526-mile track. His best start is second (Oct. 21, 2007) and best finish is 10th (Oct. 19, 2008).

During his career, Truex has earned one top–10 and four top-25 finishes at Martinsville. His average start is 17th and his average finish is 24th.

He has completed 3953 of 4011 laps of competition (98.6%) and has led one lap in competition.

Ryan Truex Greenville Pickens Preview


CORNELIUS, N.C. — Ryan Truex begins his quest to defend his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship this weekend at Greenville (S.C) Pickens Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing development driver won the championship on the heels of three wins (Watkins Glen International, Thompson Speedway and Lime Rock), two poles, seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes in just 11 starts.

QUOTES

ON DEFENDING HIS K&N SERIES TITLE: “There are so many good drivers in this series. You’ve got a lot of veterans like Matt Kobyluck and Steve Park plus you’ve got a lot of younger guys like myself, Sergio Garcia and Brett Moffitt. It’s a great blend of experience. I know every race is going to be a battle.”

ON GREENVILLE PICKENS SPEEDWAY: “I really like racing there. We’ve turned a bunch of laps there in testing and the race last year so I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on the place. The main thing for us is to get a solid finish to start the season off right. I know that everybody on the NAPA Auto Parts team is ready to get back to racing.”

ON BEING THE FIRST SERIES CHAMPION AT MWR: “That’s one of the coolest things about winning the title. They’ve got a championship banner hanging up in the shop and it’s something that me and the guys on the team can look at every day and take pride in. I’m really glad that Michael Waltrip, Ty Norris, and everyone at MWR gave me the opportunity. Now it’s up to us to go get another title for the team and everyone at NAPA. I really think we’re going to have another great season.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

Truex is the younger brother of two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Martin Truex Jr. who drivers MWR’s No. 56 NAPA Toyota in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

The 18-year-old driver started fifth and finished 14th last year at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.

Truex is the third member of his family to compete in the K&N Pro Series East. His father, Martin Truex Sr., and his brother Martin Truex Jr. also competed in the series.

MWR announced last week that Truex will run six NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2010. He will make his NNS debut on July 17 at Gateway International Raceway. Also tentatively scheduled are Michigan, Richmond, Kansas, the fall Charlotte race and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Monday, March 22, 2010

David Reutimann - Martinsville Sprint Cup Series Preview


CORNELIUS, N.C. — The fast relief of TUMS may be just what the doctor ordered for David Reutimann’s team after the last two races left the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Toyota crew feeling a little bit of heartburn and indigestion. Reutimann raced in the top-five before mechanical issues forced early exits at Atlanta and Bristol.

This week the MWR team works overtime to end its run of bad luck. Reutimann and crew will take part in a two-day open test at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to the historic .526-mile Martinsville Speedway in Virginia for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. Crew Chief Rodney Childers’ team led 18 laps at Martinsville in October before finishing 16th.

DID YOU KNOW: Reutimann and the No. 00 team have finished 20th or better in 15 of the last 19 Sprint Cup races. Prior to Bristol, the No. 00 team had not recorded consecutive finishes outside the top 30 since a two-race stretch that included a 37th-place finish at Talladega on Oct. 5, 2008 and a 32nd-place finish on Oct. 11, 2008 at Charlotte - a 41 race stretch.

CREW CHIEF RODNEY CHILDERS QUOTES

ON POSITIVES HAVE YOU TAKEN AWAY FROM THE LAST TWO RACES: “The one thing that I have noticed is that it seems like all of us on the No. 00 team have been communicating better than we ever have before. The communication is better as a team and everyone is working together and making smart changes.

“Sometimes you get into a situation at the racetrack where the car isn’t very good and you just kind of throw stuff at it and we haven’t done that lately. We’ve been making really smart changes and making the car better every time.

“David (Reutimann) is giving better feedback than he ever has, so while luck hasn’t gone our way and we’ve had some mechanical deals, as far as the team being where it needs to be - we are where we need to be. It’s just that we pretty much gave away two top-fives in the last two races, so that’s a little hard to take. We should be fourth in points and instead we’re 24th, so we have to work hard and fight back."

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN THE CHARLOTTE TEST: “There is a lot of things that we need to work through. We don’t ever really get a chance to test on an intermediate track that we actually race on with the tires we run on and all that kind of stuff, so it’s a pretty important test for everybody. We’ve got a lot of things that we’ve been wanting to try, so it’s important from that stand point. We want to get used to working with the new spoiler and trying to see what impact that’ll have on the racing.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

Reutimann is scheduled to visit the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Center during the open test session on Wednesday at 12:20 p.m.

Michael Waltrip Racing’s No. 00 Toyota Camry is featuring TUMS as the primary sponsor at Martinsville Speedway, the second of five primary paint schemes this season. The TUMS Toyota made its debut at Las Vegas and also will appear at Chicago, New Hampshire-2 and Phoenix-2.

In Atlanta, Reutimann snapped a streak of five consecutive top-15 finishes dating back to Phoenix of last year. During that span Reutimann recorded one top-five (fifth at Daytona) and two top-10s (Daytona; 10th at Phoenix ).

Reutimann ended his streak of 44 consecutive races without a DNF at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 7th. Reutimann retired to the garage just past the half-way point of the Kobalt Tools 500 while racing in the sixth position. It was the longest active streak in the Sprint Cup Series. Prior to last week, Reutimann’s last DNF came on Oct. 5, 2008 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Martin Truex Jr. Recaps Bristol

Michael Waltrip Racing Bristol Post-Race Report

• Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - Finished 12th - now 20th in points.

• David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Finished 38th - now 24th in points.

Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota raced hard and smart to a 12th-place finish in Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Truex Jr. started 19th and worked his way into the top-10 within the first 60 laps, while reporting the NAPA Toyota was just a touch free in the corners. Truex continued to race in the top-15 for the majority of the race while making minor adjustments to adjust to track conditions. The No. 56 car exited the final pit stop after minor adjustments on lap 484 in 15th position and quickly gained an additional three positions over the final 16 laps to finish 12th.

Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota

• Truex Jr. started 19th and finished 12th

• Truex Jr. moved up to 16th by the first caution on lap 42 and reported the car was a “touch free”

• The No. 56 worked its way up to ninth by lap 60

• Truex Jr. was running laps as fast as the leaders by lap 106

• The No. 56 suffered minor damage on lap 341, but was able to say out in the eighth position

• The N. 56 made a final pit stop for minor adjustments on lap 484 in 15th position

• Truex Jr. gained three positions to finish 12th over the final 16 laps.

TRUEX QUOTE: “We had a decent car all day. We just struggled with being tight in the center. We could never really get it fixed. We were hanging around eighth and 12th pretty much all day. Then the second to the last run, we made an adjustment to go for it and it was the wrong way. It killed us. We fell back deep into the teens. So to come back to 12th with that last stop, I was really happy. We just needed more time. My car was actually really good in the end. I am a little frustrated about it, but if 12th is a bad day, we'll take it.”

David Reutimann Race Summary: Tough luck spoiled outstanding day for David Reutimann and the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine. Reutimann started the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in 10th and quickly moved into the top-five and made a pass of pole winner Joey Logano by lap 75. By lap 108, Reutimann made a pass on eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson for second place and had his sights set on the leader Kurt Busch. Then on lap 114, while gaining on leader Busch, Reutimann radioed to say something under the hood broke. Reutimann brought the No. 00 to pit road where the No. 00 determined the damage was too great to continue. The No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine retired behind the wall for the remainder of the race and a 38th place finish. Crew Chief Rodney Childers told Reutimann “you would have won this race today.”


David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota

• Reutimann started 10th and finished 38th

• Reutimann immediately began to moving to the front of the field, cracking the top-five by lap 70

• The No. 00 pit crew only made minor adjustments on pit road as Reutimann's car was gaining on the leaders

• Reutimann pass eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson for second position on lap 108

• The No. 00 experienced a mechanical issue on lap 114 and retired from the race

• Crew Chief Rodney Childers told Reutimann “you would have won this race today.”

REUTIMANN QUOTE: What happened that took you out of the race?

“Something broke and we’re done. Really disappointing, but I have to thank Aaron’s and everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing – everybody at Toyota and Toyota Racing Development. They have been building me great motors all year and stuff happens sometimes -- just happened to be our turn today. Disappointing, but what are you going to do? I felt like we had a really good car and this was not the way we wanted to finish. My team did an outstanding job. This was the best thing I ever drove here, by far. I think my mouth hurts from smiling so much – it was just that much fun. We’ll have to do it again next time we come back.”

RACE NOTES:

• Jimmie Johnson won the Food City 500 over Tony Stewart by 0.894 seconds.

• Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five

• The win is Johnson’s third of the year and 50th of his career.

• Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by one point over Matt Kenseth

• The race featured 10 cautions for 103 laps and lasted three hours and 21 minutes

• NASCAR estimated the race attendance at 138,000.

• The Sprint Cup Series will return at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va. on Sunday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bristol Qualifying Report

David Reutimann posted the fastest lap of the two Michael Waltrip Racing Toyotas during today’s Coors Light qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. He’ll line up 10th. Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. will start 19th. Sunday’s running of the Food City 500 gets underway on FOX, PRN and Sirius XM Satellite Radio 128 starting at 1 p.m. ET.


Friday Recap

• David Reutimann, Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Qualified 10th
• Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - Qualified 19th
• Joey Logano won his first career Sprint Cup Series Pole Award in only his 44th career start
• Kurt Busch joins Logano on the front row followed by Dave Blaney, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon in the top five
• JTG-Daugherty Racing driver Marcos Ambrose qualified the No. 47 Toyota ninth
• Michael Waltrip qualified the No. 55 Toyota 39th for Prism Motorsports

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Qualified: 10th

How was your can in qualifying?

“It was okay, just a little bit tight. It’s a decent lap, but I think the track is getting quicker. It seems like the speeds have been gaining and it seems that everybody that went out kept getting quicker. I don’t know if it will hold up. It was a lot better than it was in practice. The guys did a good job. If it wasn’t a little too tight then it would be real fast.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Qualified: 19th

How was your car in qualifying?

“Not good. We got going pretty good in practice and made a few adjustments to try to get better and we just went the wrong way. The car pushed real bad right there. We were pretty good in practice. I’m a little disappointed that we slowed down, but it is what it is. We’ll get out there tomorrow.”

What will your strategy for Sunday be?

“I got pretty happy in race trim today. We unloaded pretty far off, but we got pretty good. I was pretty happy with the changes and we made a lot of headway. Tomorrow we’ll just go and start like that, keep working on it to try to get better. Not sure what the weather is going to be like, so we’ll have to wait and see. We’ll work on it tomorrow to get it the best we can and then guess for Sunday and tune it through the race.”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ryan Truex Will Run Six Nationwide Races in 2010, Defend K&N Filters Pro Series East Title


CORNELIUS N.C. – Ryan Truex celebrates his 18th birthday Thursday and couldn’t be happier with his present from Michael Waltrip Racing.

MWR announced today Truex will race in six NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2010 in addition to running the full 10-race K&N Filters Pro Series East schedule in defense of his 2009 championship title.

“I’m a racer and the best present anyone can give me is a chance to race,” said Truex who won three races and three poles in the former Camping World East Series last season. “Now I have a full plate of racing in the East Series in 2010 and six Nationwide races. Our eye is on running full-time Nationwide in 2011, so I couldn’t be happier.”

Truex will make his Nationwide series debut on July 17 at Gateway International Raceway just outside of St. Louis. Also tentatively scheduled are Michigan, Richmond, Kansas the fall Charlotte race and Homestead-Miami Speedway. MWR will be pursuing sponsorship support for Truex’s 2010 racing, as well as full-time support for the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series effort.

Car owner Michael Waltrip said Truex and 19-year-old Trevor Bayne, who drives Diamond-Waltrip’s No. 99 in a fulltime Nationwide Series effort, could represent the future of the company as well as the sport.

“Ryan Truex gave Michael Waltrip Racing its first championship last season when he won the K&N Filters Pro Series East championship so he’ll always be my hero,” said Waltrip.

“He’s a fantastic young driver and we feel he is ready to step up to the Nationwide Series. The Nationwide Series is a place for young guys like Ryan and Trevor to get a shot at showing off their skills and learning as much as they can. I think the fans are going to like both of these guys a lot. I hope they are around a long time at MWR and in this sport.”

Truex is the younger brother of two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Martin Truex Jr. who drives MWR’s No. 56 NAPA Toyota in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition.

Truex and his Crew Chief Mike Greci begin their East Series title defense on March 27 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. SPEED-TV will air the race at 6 p.m. ET on April 1.


###

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trevor Bayne, No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip Racing Toyota Bristol Preview



CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip driver Trevor Bayne hopes his rocket flight up the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings continues this weekend at his home track of Bristol Motor Speedway. The 19-year-old owns the biggest jump in the point standings in the first three races. The Knoxville, Tenn. native dropped to 41st after Daytona, moved up to 24th after California and leaped to 13th after posting a career-best, sixth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bayne excelled on the 1.5-mile oval in Las Vegas outracing several Sprint Cup drivers and showing why so many experts feel Bayne is one of the most promising stars on the sport’s horizon.


QUOTES

WHAT DO YOU CONTRIBE TO YOUR RECENT SUCCESS ON THE TRACK? “I think Jerry Baxter (crew chief) and I are really starting to work good together. We’ve started to have weekly meetings and those have helped a lot. Todd Gordon (Raceday Engineer) has also brought a lot of new ideas to the table. I think I’m getting more comfortable behind the wheel and starting to get a lot of confidence. I hope we can continue carrying momentum into the weeks to come and move into the top 10 in the point standings. Diamond-Waltrip is looking hard for sponsorship so every good run gives us a better chance to get the corporate folks join our team. I’m pleased where we are now but all of us want to keep getting better.”

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN AT BRISTOL? “It would be in front of the home crowd so it would be awesome. Plus it would be my first win so that would mean a lot. Anywhere you can win is a big one. I would love to win at Bristol. That is a track where it is up to the driver to make things happen. At Bristol you have to get down to the nitty gritty and make things happen. I love short track racing. Bristol is almost seems like a superspeedway compared to what I’m used to racing. It’s just an awesome place and a lot of fun to drive. If you can tame that track then you can do it anywhere.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS TRACK POSITION AT BRISTOL? “Track position is huge at Bristol. Before they repaved the track you stayed single-file and had room to move or bump people out of the way. Now when they’re two and three wide, you can get shuffled out in a hurry. We need to qualify well. That will help us stay out of all the havoc that happens in the middle of the pack. They race like maniacs in the back of the pack. You can go a lap down pretty quick at Bristol so you really want to stay with the leaders and stay out of trouble.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

Bayne made his first career NNS start last March at BMS. He started 26th and finished 23rd.

The 19-year-old driver is no rookie to BMS. He has five career starts at the .533-mile oval with his best finish of third coming behind the wheel of a USAR Pro Cup Series car in 2007. Additionally, in 2006, Bayne was leading the USAR field with 15 laps to go when he was spun out by another competitor and finished outside the top 20.

Currently, Bayne is the sixth highest series-only regular in the NNS driver point standings. He is only 26 points behind Mike Wallace in 12th, 27 points back of James Buescher in 11th, 39 point away from Scott Riggs in 10th, 103 points behind Steven Wallace in sixth and just a mere 129 points away from Justin Allgaier in fourth.

In last falls race at BMS, Bayne qualified the No. 99 machine in the fifth position. He was running in the top 10 with about 100 laps remaining when he got turned into the wall by another competitor. The young driver eventually crossed the finish line 24th, four laps down to the leaders.

The he Knoxville, Tenn., native will sigh autographs at the Food City Race Night. He will be at the Knoxville Expo Center on Thursday 6–8 p.m. The Diamond-Waltrip driver will also be at the BMS event on Friday 7–8 p.m.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aaron's to Sponsor Michael Waltrip's Return to Sprint Cup Racing


Aaron’s To Sponsor Michael Waltrip’s Return to Sprint Cup Racing
Two-Time Daytona 500 Champ To Race PRISM’s No. 55 Toyota in Talladega

ATLANTA, GA. – In celebration of its 55th year, Aaron’s, Inc. will sponsor PRISM Motorsports’ No. 55 with driver Michael Waltrip in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway April 25.

Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion and former winner at Talladega, will return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing with a long-time sponsor in Aaron’s and a long-time friend in PRISM co-owner Phil Parsons.

“This is cool. I’m ready to race again and Talladega is a place where I know we will be very competitive,” said Waltrip who owns four restrictor plate victories including a Talladega win in the fall of 2003.

Parsons said Waltrip was a natural choice for the Talladega high banks.

“Michael brings a tremendous amount of experience to our race team,” Parsons said. “He knows what he is looking for in our cars, in our race setups and what we need to do to make our team better on these types of tracks. Plus he’s a very dear friend and I’m excited we’re putting him behind the wheel. We’re going to Talladega with every intention of winning the race.”

Waltrip owns 760 Sprint Cup starts and finished 18th in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14 in his lone 2010 start.

“Phil and (co-owner) Randy Humphrey are getting started at PRISM Motorsports and I hope I can help them move through the learning curve a little bit faster,” Waltrip said. “I think it is going to be a lot of fun. Talladega is some of the best racing in the world and I’m glad I’ll get to be part of it in the Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota.”

“Having Michael Waltrip drive the No. 55 in honor of Aaron’s 55th anniversary celebration is special to everyone at Aaron’s.” stated Robin Loudermilk, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aaron’s, Inc. “There is no better ambassador for our brand than Michael and no better way to celebrate 55 years of offering quality home furnishings to our customers than having the No. 55 Anniversary Dream Machine racing at the front of the pack during the Aaron’s 499.”

Aaron’s Chief Operating Officer Ken Butler continued, “Talladega will mark the first time that Michael has driven for Aaron’s on the Cup side and we are thrilled to have him pilot this commemorative 55th anniversary paint scheme. We have a long history together and are glad we have the opportunity to support him in his second Cup Series start of 2010.”

This season Waltrip has devoted more time to ownership of Michael Waltrip Racing which fields Toyotas for David Reutimann’s No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine and Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS entry. In addition, Waltrip’s time is spent as an analyst on Showtime’s “Inside NASCAR” and SPEED’s weekly talent show “Fast Track to Fame” as well as joining Parsons as a television commentator in SPEED’s coverage of truck series races.

The Aaron’s 499 at Talladega is the only race Waltrip has planned in the 2010 season.

PRISM Motorsports will field the No. 55 for Waltrip and the No. 66 for Dave Blaney at Talladega. Since its inception in 2009, PRISM Motorsports has purchased race cars from Michael Waltrip Racing.


###



About Aaron’s, Inc.

Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), the nation’s leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, has more than 1,700 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada. Founded in 1955 by entrepreneur R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr. and headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s has been publicly traded since 1982. For more information, visit www.aaronsinc.com.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

No. 56 Crew Becomes First Multiple Tissot Winner of Season



The over-the-wall crew for Martin Truex Jr. claimed another victory, earning the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s (March 7) Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The No. 56 crew’s performance places the team in first place in the Tissot standings with back-to-back wins (Las Vegas, Atlanta) after four races in the 2010 season.

Truex’s NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, out of the Michael Waltrip Racing team, spent the least amount of time on pit road – 349.623 seconds – during the overtime race, which was extended from 325 laps to 341. Race winner Kurt Busch’s No. 2 Dodge was second (352.887) and Paul Menard’s No. 98 Ford was third (353.488).

“My pit crew is absolutely unbelievable,” said Truex. “I think when all is said and done, they’ll all have a Tissot watch in about five more weeks. They are that good. In Atlanta, my car wasn’t handling the way we needed in the first part of the race. We were a top-15 team, but after each stop, they got me close or put me in the top-10. They really have made an impact on our performance, and I appreciate it. They deserve this award, and I am glad Tissot and NASCAR provide the pit crews with this kind of recognition.”

Truex’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Cory Quick (front-tire changer), Craig Curione (front-tire carrier), Shannon Myers (rear-tire changer), Mark Kennerly (rear-tire carrier), Brian Chase (jackman), Doug Newell (gasman) and Keith Koppenal (catch can). The team’s crew chief is Pat Tryson and the pit crew coach is Greg Miller.

The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.

Tissot has been the official watch and timekeeper of NASCAR since 2006. The company is also the official timekeeper for a number of other sports, including the MotoGP World Championship, the Ice Hockey World Championship and the Cycling World Championship.

###

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Michael Waltrip Racing - Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway - Post Race Report

Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - Finished 27th - now 24th in points.


David Reutimann, No. 00 Mitsubishi Electric/Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Finished 40th - now 18th in points.

Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota was en route to a top-10 finish during Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but the first of two green-white-checkered-flag finishes took Martin Truex Jr. out of contention when he was struck by Mark Martin and Denny Hamlin on lap 332. Crew chief Pat Tryson gambled and kept his driver out on the final restart. However, the damage was too much for Truex to keep up the pace. He was forced to limp home in 27th place, after an impressive run that saw him race in the top 10 for the final 100 laps of competition.
Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota

• Ran in top-20 during the first half of the race as the car was “pushy loose”

• Final 100 laps saw the No. 56 come to life and charge into the top-10

• Was running sixth in the closing laps before being caught up in a wreck on lap 332 during the first of two attempts at a green-white-checker finish

• The No. 56 Toyota was damaged, but limped home 27th to finish the race

• The NAPA AUTO PARTS pit crew won the Tissot Pit Crew Precision Award for the second consecutive week.
• The NAPA team turned in all sub 13-second stops

TRUEX QUOTE: “Pat Tryson and the guys worked on the car all day and got my NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in contention for a great finish. The restart on lap 331 got ugly and we did all we could to miss a wreck in front of us, but we got caught up in it. It’s a shame this happen to us. We deserved a lot better finish than what we actually got.”

“I have to hand it to my pit crew again. They were unbelievable on pit road. They won the Tissot Pit Crew Precision Award last week and they deserve it again.”

David Reutimann Race Summary: Tough luck spoils what was looking to be an outstanding day for David Reutimann and the No. 00 Mitsubishi Electric/Aaron’s Dream Machine. Reutimann started the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in ninth and experienced a difficult handling condition that dropped the No. 00 to the 26th position within the first 30 laps. When Reutimann came to pit road on lap 36 Rodney Childers called for several adjustments that made the car come to life on the restart. Reutimann soon found himself back among the top-10 and battling to crack the top-five on the restart on lap 164. Reutimann soon began to experience overheating which eventually ended his day prematurely.

David Reutimann, No. 00 Mitsubishi Electric/Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota

• Reutimann started ninth and finished 38th

• Reutimann battled a handling issue that dropped him to 26th

• The No. 00 pit crew made adjustments under caution on lap 36 that helped the condition

• The No. 00 raced it’s way back through the field up to the sixth position by a restart on lap 164

• The No. 00 experienced overheating on lap 166 and retired from the race

• Today marked Reutimann’s first “Did Not Finish” since Oct. 5, 2008 at Talladega—the longest such streak in the Sprint Cup Series (44 races)
REUTIMANN QUOTE: “It’s just a real frustrating deal. We had a good Mitsubishi Electric/Aaron’s Dream Machine and we were starting to have a pretty good day. The car wasn’t where we wanted it at the start of the race, but Rodney Childers and the crew kept working on it and got it up into the top-10 and we were closing in on the top-five. It turned what could have been a great day into a very disappointing day.”


RACE NOTES:

• Kurt Busch won the Kobalt Tools 500 over Matt Kenseth in the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish

• Kenseth, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard rounded out the top-five

• Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 26 points over Matt Kenseth

• The race featured 11 cautions for 53 laps and lasted four hours

• NASCAR estimated the race attendance at 85,000

• The Sprint Cup Series is off next weekend and will return at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Friday, March 05, 2010

David Reutimann - Atlanta Interview 1 of 2




David Reutimann on turning 40 and appreciating his Sprint Cup ride

Michael Waltrip Racing - Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway - Post Qualifying Report


David Reutimann posted the fastest lap of the two Michael Waltrip Racing Toyotas during today’s Coors Light qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. He’ll line up ninth. Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. will start 19th. Sunday’s running of the Kobalt Tools 500 gets underway on FOX, PRN and Sirius XM Satellite Radio 128 starting at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

Friday Recap

• David Reutimann, No. 00 Mitsubishi Electric/Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Qualified 9th
• Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - Qualified 19th
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the KOBALT TOOLS 500 with a lap of 28.761
seconds, 192.761 mph
• Earnhardt's pole speed set a record for fastest in the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. The
previous fastest was Jimmie Johnson's speed of 192.376 mph at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October
of last season.
• Kyle Busch will join Earnhardt on the front row.

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Mitsubishi Electric/Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Qualified: Ninth

Are you happy with your qualifying run?
“That’s about as much as we had. I think we picked up about seven-tenths so it was a pretty good pick up for the Mitsubishi Electric/Aaron’s Dream Machine. We gave up a little bit in one and two. We were pretty good in three and four but one and two we lost some. All in all it was a good effort for the guys. It’s not a pole but hopefully it will hold up for a top-10 and give us a good starting position and a good pit selection and all of the things we need for the race.”

Did you ‘bottom out’ during your qualifying run?
“Actually it got on the race track just a little bit but not as much as anticipated. Not only with the tape up on the nose but the track temperatures being down. We’re talking some guys picking up close to a second on lap time and if you pick up that much speed you’re going to have trouble getting on the race track. But it wasn’t bad. Rodney Childers (crew chief) and the guys did a good job anticipating what was going to happen so it was okay.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Qualified: 19th

How was your qualifying lap?
“It was okay. I thought we would’ve been a little bit better than that. I think a lot of the guys run 29 flat so we were just on the wrong end of that. I really have been pretty happy with the car all day especially in race trim so hopefully tomorrow will be great. I thought we’d have went a little quicker than that tonight. We had a really good run right at the end of practice but it was on an older set of tires. We probably just got the car a little bit too free for tonight.”

David Reutimann - Atlanta Open Interview


DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Mitsubishi Electric/Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing


What are your expectations for this weekend at Atlanta?

“This is a tricky race track. The tires fall off so quick because the track is pretty abrasive. It’s a constant adjustment on trying to get your car comfortable and to get it to do what you need it to do. We’ve got a pretty good Toyota Camry today. We have Mitsubishi Electronics on the car so I’m hoping if I sit on the pole that maybe they’ll actually give me a big screen TV or something like that. The car looks good and it’s a promotional deal that Aaron’s has done being that Mitsubishi has been their ‘Partner of the Year’ actually for the second year in a row. It’s something special that Aaron’s is doing putting them on the car, getting them some exposure and showing their appreciation for what they do for our program.”

Were the cars ‘bottoming out’ during practice in turns one and two?

“Yeah, the track is really, really fast. The temperatures are down so the track has got a lot of grip in it right now. In the meantime you’ve got more grip -- you guys know we run these cars so close to being on the ground anyway it doesn’t take much to put them over the edge. It’s a little bit different tire configuration and the track speeds being up and the track being rough in certain areas, the cars are getting into the race track pretty hard. Not only us, I think there’s a lot of other guys fighting the same things. When you have that going down the corner of the car, it gets in the corner in the splitter it hits the race track it just obviously moves up the race track and it’s hard to make any time. I spent the first half of practice trying to get the thing up off the race track, but the problem is you don’t want to get the car too high down the straightaway so you want to keep it low down the straightaways but you need to try to keep it off the race track through the corners in the rough spots. It’s a hard thing to do. And everybody says, ‘Well, if it’s on the race track we just raise the thing up.’ But it’s not that easy because you raise it up to get it through the corners and then it hurts straightaway speeds and then when you get into packing there’s less downforce, the car raises up more and I’m just glad I’m not a crew chief or engineer trying to figure all of that stuff out. I just come in and tell them either it’s hitting the race track or it’s not. It’s difficult. Again, most people think dragging the race track you just raise it up but you just can’t do that. There’s a lot more to it.”

Do you believe the cars ‘bottoming out’ will cause the track to break down like Daytona?

“I don’t think so. There’s probably a couple things that contributed to the Daytona surface breaking up. Probably the excessive amounts of water they had as well, leading up to it, and the colder temperatures. Not that it’s warm here. I don’t think we’re going to run into a situation like that. I think that’s something that might have happened even if the splitters weren’t pounded the race track. The thing about it is, at Daytona you can get away with that with our cars because the nose will come back up and you can make it on through the corner. Here, the speeds are so high and the g-loads are such that it really just slams the car in the race track and you hit the race track and it slides up there. I don’t think we got anything to worry about as far as tearing up the actual race track. Tearing up the race cars and being a little rough on the bottoms of them, that’s probably the only danger we got.”


Do you appreciate your success more considering how long you waited for your ‘break?’

“It may be a guy coming right out of high school and going Cup racing and doesn’t appreciate it maybe as much as a guy like me who’s done it a little differently. Nothing wrong with that. Trust me, I wish I would’ve been 18 years old, coming out of high school and had an opportunity to do Cup racing. I would’ve loved to have done that. Just wasn’t in the cards for me at the time. If you were 18 or 20 years old, or even mid-20s, you were too young. They wanted guys that were more seasoned because they didn’t tear up as many cars. Then Jeff Gordon shows up and all the rules changed. Everybody wanted a young guy because he was producing on the race track. You got a guy like Mark Martin, not saying I’m a Mark Martin, but when you’re out there racing that guy and he’s kicking butt, that makes you feel really good. It makes you feel like you maybe have a little bit of longevity. You never know. In the end, if you run well on the race track, they’ll probably keep you around no matter how old you get. Forty is the new 30, anyway. That’s what I’m going with.”

Trevor Bayne on SPEED-TV's Race Hub

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

No 56 NAPA Crew Claims Tissot Pit Road Award in Las Vegas

The over-the-wall crew for Martin Truex Jr. won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s (Feb. 28) Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Truex’s NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, out of the Michael Waltrip Racing stable, spent the least amount of time on pit road – 207.012 seconds -- during the 267-lap, 400-mile race. Carl Edwards’ No. 99 Ford was second (207.769) and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevy was third (211.931).

“The No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS team has really improved this year,” said pit crew coach Greg Miller. “All of the guys are on board with our program and they are really into what we are teaching and preaching this season. We are very fortunate that the crew we put together has had chemistry. Having good chemistry just helps with everything we do and it paid off on Sunday.”

Truex’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Cory Quick (front-tire changer), Craig Curione (front-tire carrier), Shannon Myers (rear-tire changer), Mark Kennerly (rear-tire carrier), Brian Chase (jackman), Doug Newell (gasman) and Keith Koppenal (catch can). The team’s crew chief is Pat Tryson.

The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.

Tissot has been the official watch and timekeeper of NASCAR since 2006. The company is also the official timekeeper for a number of other sports, including the MotoGP World Championship, the Ice Hockey World Championship and the Cycling World Championship.

_________________________________________


2010 Tissot Pit Road Precision Award Winners

Daytona, 2/14 Juan Pablo Montoya Team

Fontana, 2/21 Jeff Gordon Team

Las Vegas, 2/28 Martin Truex Jr. Team



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Martin Truex Jr. Atlanta Preview


CORNELIUS, N.C. — New NAPA driver Martin Truex Jr. loves the Atlanta Motor Speedway. On Jan. 12-13, his Michael Waltrip Racing team participated in a Goodyear tire test that boasted impressive results. He and crew chief Pat Tryson hope lessons learned at the test propel Truex to his second-straight pole award on the 1.5-mile ultrafast track and put him in contention for victory on Sunday. With NAPA headquarters just 41 miles north of Atlanta Motor Speedway, Truex will have a lot of supporters cheering for the No. 56 Toyota.


QUOTES

What is it that you like about the Atlanta Motor Speedway? “The biggest thing is the groove is so wide. Even at the Atlanta Motor Speedway test that we did for Goodyear, I could run up towards the wall. I can just run all over this track. That’s what makes it fun for me. Some guys like to run the bottom. Some guys like the top. Some guys can run anywhere. That makes for great racing when you can choose. If there is a guy in front of you and you can’t pass him. You just find a different lane and pass him. That helps a lot and makes it fun for all of us.”

Can you use the Goodyear test to prepare for the March race? “It’s going to be a lot different when we come back. This is the first time I have done a tire test here. Just from practice and testing and to the race, this place changes a whole lot. There are some things that we will be able to use. There are some trends that we can look at that work for our NAPA Toyota. As far as getting the optimum set up for this week, it will probably not help us when we come back to the race.”

What is the key to clinching your second-straight pole at Atlanta? “Being in the gas. It is a fast track and obviously your car needs to handle well. Being able to stay on the bottom for a fast lap is the key. For the race, you will need to be able to move around. You have to be able to be in the gas for a long time.”

Where does Atlanta rank in your list of career favorite tracks? “I really enjoy this track. This is one of my favorites. I have had some great runs here. I came close to winning here. We won the pole here back in the fall. It is a place where I feel comfortable. I enjoy racing here. It is definitely one of my favorites.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

This month, NAPA is offering two great promotions for race fans. The popular NAPA Racing Cap giveaway is happening now. Fans can pick up a free NAPA Racing Cap with any purchase at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS stores while supplies last. And, NAPA’s Buy It. Install It. Protect It promotion allows consumers to receive 40 percent off the regular price of a NAPAGold Filter for their car or light truck at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS stores. Or they can visit an authorized NAPA AutoCare Center or installer and get a $20 mail-in rebate when they buy a NAPAGold Air Filter or Cabin Air Filter with a NAPA Filter oil change.

The driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota will be competing in his 157th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He will be starting in his 11th race at the 1.54-mile track.

His best start is first (Sept. 6, 2009) and best finish is eighth (Oct. 30 , 2005). During his career, Truex has earned two top–10 and five top-25 finishes at AMS. His average start is 18th and his average finish is 24th. He has led 204 laps in competition.

MEDIA ALERT: Truex will be a guest on Friday night’s edition of Trackside. It airs at 8 p.m. ET on SPEED.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

David Reutimann - Atlanta Sprint Cup Series Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Aaron’s Dream Machine driver David Reutimann hopes to continue his strong start to the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season this weekend when the series visits the ultrafast Atlanta Motor Speedway. Reutimann is well on his way toward meeting his preseason goal of securing one of the twelve sports in NASCAR’s “Chase for the Championship.” The Florida native is ninth in points after three races owning a fifth-place finish in the Daytona 500.

Sponsor Aaron’s operates 1,695 stores in America but is headquartered in Atlanta. This weekend, the No. 00 team sports a new paint scheme on the Mitsubishi/Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry to honor Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc their 2009 Vendor Partner of the Year.

QUOTES

REUTIMANN ON RACING AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY: “I like Atlanta Motor Speedway a lot. It’s a cool racetrack. It’s pretty abrasive, so it’s a little bit rougher on the tires. The cars slide around a lot and it can be pretty fun, especially if we have a pretty good Mitsubishi/Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota. The track is still really, really fast - it’s one of the fastest places we go. We’ve had some good runs there in the past. I was able to win my very first pole there in the truck series, which came in only my second start in that series during my rookie year. We went to Daytona and then Atlanta was the second race of the year at the time. It’s always been pretty special to me - I enjoy going back.”

CREW CHIEF RODNEY CHILDERS ON THE SEASON AFTER THREE RACES: “It’s going good so far. It’s been kind of like what we’ve planned. We haven’t set the world on fire, but we’ve just been trying to be real consistent like we did last year in the first five races to just put ourselves in a good position in points when Martinsville comes around. We’re trying to be top-10, top-15 every week. The pit crew is doing a great job and getting better every week. We’ve had good Toyotas. We have to do a little better at the racetrack, but so far it’s going good.”

KEN BUTLER, AARON’S, INC. CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER ON PAINT SCHEME: “Mitsubishi has been a terrific vendor for many years, duly earning our Partner of the Year distinction. Designing a custom Mitsubishi paint scheme for the Aaron’s Dream Machine is not only an exciting, but valuable means of showing our appreciation for the partnership. Both companies will undoubtedly be pulling for Reutimann to bring the Mitsubishi car across the finish line first at Aaron’s home track.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
• Reutimann celebrated his 40th birthday on Tuesday, March 2.

• Reutimann has a streak of five consecutive top-15 finishes dating back to last season. The streak includes one top-five (5th, 2010 Daytona 500), two top-10s (Daytona and 10th, 2009 Phoenix-2), a 13th-place finish last weekend at Las Vegas and two 15th-place finishes (2009 at Homestead and 2010 at California-1).

• Over the last 10 races on 1.5 mile racetracks, Reutimann ranks fifth in total points (1,337) trailing only Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne. In that 10 race span, Reutimann has one win, two top-fives, three top-10s, collected two poles, led 46 laps and has an average finish of 11th with no finish worse than 20th.
• Reutimann currently has the longest streak of consecutive races finished without a Did Not Finish (DNF) at 44 races of drivers to start every race during that period. Reutimann’s last DNF was Oct. 5, 2008 at Talladega Superspeedway.
• Aaron’s, sponsor of the No. 00, will give away an autographed hat to a lucky race fan through Facebook and Twitter following any top-10 finish. Follow Aarons on Twitter (@AaronsSports) and become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/AaronsSports)