CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Martin Truex Jr. says he is approaching Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup road course race at Infineon Raceway in a whole new way. He summarizes his new strategy for the 10-turn, 1.99-mile California road course in nine words: “Make the tires last and my car will be fast.”
Instead of being fast for only a few laps as he has done in years past, Truex explained he will focus on making the tires on his Toyota last on the long runs. The new mantra comes after working with JTG-Daugherty Racing driver Marcos Ambrose at Virginia International Raceway on May 11 and 25. Ambrose, whose team is in a technical alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing, is one of the best road course racers on the circuit. Truex believes the Aussie will be instrumental in helping him steer the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota to a good finish on Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. on Working with Marcos Ambrose: “Marcos has been really good on the road courses and we have done some testing this year. Marcos is really, really good. I am going to lean on him. I am going to pick his brain as much as possible. He is just unbelievable and it’s amazing how fast he can go around those places. I think his experience can help us. He is really smart about his cars when he races there. He knows how to get them to roll the right way. He knows how to get the feel in them that maybe he won’t be the fastest guy, but it will stay under him during the longer runs and keep the tires on it. I think that’s what I have struggled with. I’ve just worried about going fast. I am able to go fast, but the car won’t stay with me. I think Marcos is going to be able to help us a lot. I think if we can make the car last, we will be OK. This race is also a lot about pit strategy and being at the right place at the right time. If the NAPA team can do all the little stuff right and keep the car under me, I think we can have a great day.”
“I think my biggest challenge at Infineon is I have always struggled with burning the rear tires off. Last year, I qualified sixth and passed Tony Stewart on the first lap. I was running like third and in three laps, I had no rear tires left. It was like I was out there with oil on my rear tires. I went straight to the rear. Infineon is one of those places where I’m going to work with Marcos to figure out what it will take for me to race well there.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
The driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota will be competing in his 168th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday at Infineon Raceway.
Truex has four starts at the 1.99-mile course. His best start of sixth and came last season on June 21. His best finish is 15th (June 25, 2006). He’s earned one top-15, and four top-25 finishes. His average start is 22nd and average finish is 20th. He has run all 445 laps in competition.
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$20 rebate on the NAPA Optima Heavy-Duty batteries, $15 rebate on NAPA Legend 84 month battery and $10 rebate on all NAPA LEGEND 75-month batteries.