CORNELIUS, N.C. — NAPA Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Pat Tryson are ready to take on Pocono Raceway—the next stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. The Michael Waltrip Racing duo knows the 2.5-mile tri-oval known as the “tricky triangle” presents teams with unique challenges. After just 13 points races together, Tryson and Truex are building a chemistry sure to pay even bigger dividends as the season progresses. Both have enjoyed success at the Pennsylvania track. Truex finished third in this race in 2007 while Tryson, a native of nearby Malvern, visited victory lane at Pocono in the fall of 2007.
Truex on running long races back-to-back at Charlotte and Pocono: “They are both very long races, but the race at Charlotte is different because it starts in the day and ends at night. Charlotte is one of the places that changes the most when taking the track temperature and weather conditions into consideration. It’s really tough. At Pocono, it is a long race, but it starts and ends in the afternoon. Teams deal with the same conditions all day long so it’s really not like Charlotte at all.”
Truex on which turn is the toughest to tame at Pocono: “The hardest thing about Pocono is it’s not really just one corner that is hard. All three corners are very different. That’s what makes the track challenging. If I had to pick one, I would say Turn 1 is the most difficult. It’s really slick and the bumps are really, really bad in Turn 1. They also put a new strip of asphalt down in Turn 3 a few years ago and that has really made things a handful. The rest of the track is all worn out. With the brand new strip of asphalt in Turn 3, you are constantly fighting a tight condition. In Turn 1, you are super loose. It is very challenging. You are all over the place there.
“I’ve seen drivers run well in all three corners. The key is to be a little bit better in each corner than the next guy. It is so competitive out there that you can’t just focus on one turn or throw a turn out. If you do either one or both of those, you won’t stand a chance. You’ve got to make some compromises, but you still have to be good everywhere. You need good grip and drive off in all of the corners. And it needs to turn well through all of the turns. It’s all tough to do, but I think we can get it accomplished this weekend.”
Crew Chief Pat Tryson on keys to running well at Pocono: “For me, I like to focus on Turns 2 and 3 more so than Turn 1. That’s because the straightaway is so long that you do most of your passing on the straightaway. If you can go through the Tunnel Turn pretty easily, then you should be good and good enough to compensate Turn 1. To me, it’s more about getting your car to handle well in Turns 2 and 3 to have a chance to win at Pocono.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
The driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota will be competing in his 166th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Truex has eight starts at Pocono Raceway. His best start and finish is third (June 10, 2007). He’s earned one top-five, and six top-20 finishes. His average start and finish is 17th. He has run 1,505 of 1,506 laps of competition (99.9%) and has led a total of four laps in competition.
In the last eight races at Pocono, Truex ranks 14th in the most points earned amongst the drivers. In the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup races, Truex ranks 12th in the most points earned.
Take advantage of a great NAPA promotion this month. Consumers can visit a NAPA AUTO PARTS Store or a NAPA AutoCare Center, and get the following mail-in rebates—
$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.