CORNELIUS, N.C. — Martin Truex Jr. heads to his favorite track for this weekend’s running of the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. A win at the Lady in Black would lead to a huge payoff for Michael Waltrip Racing’s new driver. The obvious reward is a win for his new team and sponsor NAPA, a cool $285,000 for his Martin Truex Jr. Foundation thanks to the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout competition and a guaranteed starting spot in the Sprint All-Star race.
Truex Jr. on Darlington: “Darlington is a special place because of the history and the things that have happened there over the years. Especially when you think about all the guys that have won. It’s also a special place to me because I clinched my first championship there in the Nationwide Series. I think there were two or three races to go in the season and we had the Wrangler colors and the Dale Earnhardt paint scheme on my car. It was a very cool day to have won the championship. I have a lot of pictures from that day hanging in my shop.
“What I like about Darlington — it’s one of the most challenging tracks on the circuit. I really, really like it. It is really a fun place to race. I have had some great runs there. I haven’t won there, but I feel like some of my best performances as a driver have come at that track. It really challenges you as a driver. You really have to be up on the wheel and concentrate all day and all night long.”
Truex Jr. on DIRECTV Promotion: “I am so excited to have made it to the final four. Thanks to DIRECTV, I have already won over $30,000 for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. That means a lot to my foundation as it will help many children in need. This weekend, if all goes well, we could walk away with an additional $250,000. That money will go a long way as we’ve got a lot of projects going on now so I want to thank DIRECTV for making this promotion possible.”
Truex Jr. on Mother’s Day Activities at Dover: “My parents have been a huge part of my racing career. It’s going to be nice to bring my mother out to the pre-race festivities. She’ll get to see what it’s like to be out there as a driver with all the fans watching. She’ll probably get a little bit nervous, but I look forward to taking her out there and ride around the truck with me before the race.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
The driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota will be competing in his 163rd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night at Darlington. This will be Truex’s fifth race at the 1.366-mile oval. His best start is 16th and best finish is ninth. Both occurred last year on May 9. During his career, Truex has earned one top–five and four top-15 finishes. His average start is 26th and his average finish is 11th.
In the last four races, Truex ranks ninth in NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers’ Statistics at Darlington Raceway. And just out today, the ESPN Power Rankings rates Truex 13th heading into Darlington.
The DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout promotion enters the Fastest Four round. Truex will now compete for the final prize of $250,000 against Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin. Truex is competing to raise money for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. The head-to-head “races within the races” launched at Texas and concludes this weekend at Darlington. In classic “bracket-tournament” fashion, fans entered their own bracket predictions at www.DIRECTV.com/NASCAR for the chance to win $1 million or a car.
HELP MARTIN: The first annual Catwalk for a Cause: A Celebration of Fashion Benefiting the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation takes place May 18 at River Run Country Club in Davidson, N.C.
For more information on Truex’s foundation: http://www.martintruexjrfoundation.org/ .