CORNELIUS, N.C. – Michael Waltrip Racing announced today that NAPA AUTO PARTS will sponsor defending K&N Pro Series East champion and current points leader Ryan Truex, when he makes his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Gateway International Raceway on July 17.
He’ll pilot the No. 00 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota at the St. Louis track with his East series crew chief Mike Greci helping to guide his way. Truex will race in five additonal Nationwide races in 2010.
The 18-year-old from Mayetta, N.J. is very familiar with the NAPA Racing program. Not only is his older brother Martin Truex Jr. driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but NAPA sponsored him during his championship run in the East Series last year.
“I want to thank NAPA AUTO PARTS for all they have done for me. I’m just excited to finally get started and have them on board for the Gateway race,” said Truex who won the New England 125 K&N Pro Series East event on June 25. “Three years ago I remember racing a Legend car at Wall Stadium in New Jersey and now I’m here. It’s hard to believe how fast it’s come, but I’m excited, ready to get started and make the most of this opportunity.”
“We are proud to be a part of Ryan’s first start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as he advances to the next level in his career. Ryan has proven to have the talent that warrants this opportunity.” stated NAPA President, Bob Susor. “NAPA was fortunate enough to be along for the ride as Ryan picked up numerous wins in route to the 2009 K&N Pro Series East championship. It will be fun watching his progress and we wish him and his team the best of luck.”
Truex Jr., is a two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and has two poles and a race win at Gateway. He is ready to lend his little brother support when he runs in NASCAR’s second-tiered division. It’s a series that has launched many careers including his own. He’s hoping the same holds true for Ryan.
“I look forward to watching Ryan make his first start in the Nationwide Series. It’s going to be a big day for him. It’s been fun to watch his progress. He hasn’t been racing very long and he’s come a long way as a driver. He’s been impressive. I’ll coach if he needs help, but he’s done a great job so far and he’s got a great team and sponsor behind him for this race. I haven’t decided yet if I am going to go. I am a nervous wreck when he races. It’s a 250 miler. I’m not sure I can handle that.”
MWR plans to run Ryan Truex in six NASCAR Nationwide Series events this season and is seeking sponsorship support. On the schedule are Michigan, Richmond, Kansas, Charlotte and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Plans are also in the works to run Truex fulltime in the Nationwide Series in 2011, if sponsorship can be secured.
Ryan Truex leads the K&N Pro Series East point standings by 33 markers over Darrell Wallace Jr. On Saturday the series races at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., where Truex is the defending race winner.
NAPA was founded in 1925 to meet America’s growing need for a world-class auto parts distribution system. By providing excellent customer service for more than 80 years, NAPA has become the industry leader.
NAPA’s strength is unrivaled, with over 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, 64 Distribution Centers, more than 13,000 NAPA AutoCare and AutoCare Collision repair facilities, over 400,000 parts in inventory every day and the convenience of 24-hour shopping with NAPAonline. NAPA AUTO PARTS stores provide friendly, personalized service. Our highly trained and experienced professionals are here to help you get the job done. With our huge in-stock inventory, NAPA provides the parts you need when you need them.
NAPA is currently participating its 15th season of primary sponsorship in NASCAR. NAPA AUTO PARTS has visited victory lane in all three major NASCAR series – Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup – amassing 30 wins, two Daytona 500 victories, and two Truck Series championships.