Friday, July 30, 2010

Michael Waltrip Racing - Pocono Raceway Qualifying Report

• David Reutimann, Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Qualified 24th

• Martin Truex Jr., NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - Qualified 28th

Friday Recap

• Tony Stewart won the Coors Light Pole Award with a time of 52.511.
• This marks Stewart’s 12th pole in 416 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts.
• Point leader Kevin Harvick starts 14th.
• Juan Pablo Montoya, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman round out the top-five.
• JTG-Daugherty Racing driver Marcos Ambrose qualified the No. 47 Toyota 19th.

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry
Did you pick up any speed during qualifying? “Maybe a little bit, not as much as we should have. I missed it a little bit there in turn one and it screwed us up and cost us. The rest of the lap was good, just getting through turn one, I didn’t get through there very good. I should have ran a lot faster, the Aaron’s Dream Machine is capable of running a lot faster.”

How will your car be on Sunday?
“I feel like we found some stuff in race trim that should be helpful. I think we’ll be okay on Sunday.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry
How was your qualifying lap? “It’s been a tough day for us. We’ve been struggling with our NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota and made some changes for qualifying here that didn’t really help. We’ll work on it tonight and get better tomorrow.”

Waltrip,Kauffman Suit up for Spa 24 Hour Sportscar Race in Belgium



Spa, Belgium (July 30, 2010) – Michael Waltrip Racing co-owners’, Michael Waltrip and Rob

Kauffman have teamed up with the AF Corse team for the second time in 2010 to run this weekend’s
Spa 24 Hours endurance race on the Spa-Franchorchamps circuit in Spa, Belgium.

The two-time Daytona 500 champion and his business partner look forward to the challenges of the
4.352-mile course. They’ll be going up against a field made up of four different categories and
consisting of top manufactures such as Ferrari, Audi, Porsche and BMW.

“The track is super challenging,” said Waltrip. “It’s a really high-speed road course that consists of a
lot of hills and blind corners. I am looking forward to the endurance portion of the race. I’m used to
competing in three hour NASCAR events and this is an opportunity to do something totally different.”

The AF Corse will compete in a Ferrari F430 GT2 and has captured two wins in this prestigious
event. The driver lineup will consist of Waltrip, Kauffman, Niki Cadei and Marco Cioci.

“The Spa 24 hour race is one of the greatest endurance racing challenges and I am just really
excited to be a part of the event,” said Kauffman. “Amato Ferrari and his AF Corse team have a lot
of experience and have won this event multiple times. We are looking forward to a successful outing
this weekend in Belgium.”

Earlier this year, Waltrip joined Kauffman along with JTG Daugherty Racing’s Marcos Ambrose for
the fifth annual Dubai 24 Hour sportscar race at the Dubai Autodrome on January 14-16. The AF
Corse team performed extremely well — running sixth overall and leading its class before getting
involved in an accident.

“Obviously the goal is to finish the event and if we accomplish that, a podium finish wouldn’t be out
of the question, “Waltrip added. “That would make the trip across the water a huge success. The
coolest part for me is seeing a new part of the world, hanging with my partner Rob Kauffman and
being able to race at this historic venue in Spa, Belgium. This place hosted its first 24 Hour
endurance race in 1924, now that’s some history!

AF Corse team joined forces with defending FIA GT1 champions Vitaphone Racing who will start
from the pole. The team consists of Eric van de Poele, Bert Longin, Toni Vilander and Gimmi
Bruni. Waltrip’s team will start the prestigious event 19th.

The 24-hour race gets underway on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET. For more information on the race visit
http://www.gt2europe.com/. Fans can also follow Waltrip during his Belgium trip on www.twitter.com/
mw55.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

David Reutimann - No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Pocono Preview





CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver David Reutimann knows a win to a NASCAR team can reach far beyond points or dollars, its influence impacts an organization’s morale, confidence and reputation in and out of the garage. Reutimann, who collected his second career Sprint Cup Series win in the Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 10th, has won in all three of NASCAR’s top touring series—The Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series. A win this weekend’s event at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway could propel Reutimann and the No. 00 team back into serious Chase contention.

QUOTES

REUTIMANN ON WINNING VERSUS POINT RACING: “I think a lot of things do get lost in the fact that there's a lot of focus put on the Chase, and rightfully so. That's what you're obviously trying to do. You're trying to win races. It's important to win races, but it's also about being consistent and all those things that gain you the most points. Every driver, when he's strapped in on Sunday, you're out there to try to win the race. For the drivers, I think the most important thing is going out there and trying to win races, doing what you can to help your cause. If you win races, that's always the better way to get in the Chase as well. It's a win-win situation if you can go out and win races. I know that's what we're focused on doing.”


ON THE IMPACT OF WINNING A RACE: “It can change the whole outlook of your entire organization. If you're having a rough year, things aren't going well, you're able to go out and win a race, you automatically kind of forget everything that's happened bad up to that point. You can switch things around and make it so you're like, Wow. I mean, no matter how your season has gone up to that point, you win that race, you're like, the sky is the limit from that point on. It gives the driver confidence. It gives the team confidence. More importantly, it gives the guys back at the shop that aren't able to be at the racetrack with you, but are turning out your racecars, getting your stuff prepared, gives them added enthusiasm, a little pep in their step, so to speak. It makes them see what they're doing at the shop is really important. They're able to see the results on the racetrack. I think that's great for any race team.”




ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
· Only Kevin Harvick (9.2), Jeff Gordon (9.5), Tony Stewart (10.5), Jeff Burton (10.7) and Denny Hamlin (12.0) have a better average finish than Reutimann (12.9) in the last 10 races. Reutimann (1302) also ranks seventh in total points during that span.

· Last weekend at Indianapolis, Reutimann snapped the longest streak of consecutive lead laps finishes at 11 races. He has finished on the lead lap in 15 of 17 races that he was running at the finish and 15 out of 20 total races in 2010.

· Reutimann won the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 10. The Sprint Cup Series win is his first of the season and second of his career. Reutimann led 52 laps in the win — the second highest total of any race in his career (Best,104 laps at Richmond in fall 2008).

· Reutimann has won at least one race in all three of NASCAR’s National Touring Series - Sprint Cup Series (Charlotte-1 2009, Chicago 2010), Nationwide (Memphis 2007) and Camping World Truck Series (Nashville 2005).

· Reutimann has finished 20th or better in 14 of the 17 races that he has been running at the finish in 2010—and 15th or better in 12 of the 17. Reutimann has collected 25 bonus points for leading laps in five races in 2010.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Truex Jr. Previews His Return To Pocono

CORNELIUS, N.C. For the second time this month, NAPA is offering race fans a chance to get closer to Martin Truex Jr. and the NAPA Know How Crew. Fans are taking advantage of NAPA’s free Track Pass offer to listen to the No. 56 team radio during the race. Now, NAPA is giving fans the chance to take a ride with Truex in the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. It’s part of the NAPA Belden Spark Plug Wire “Take the Lead” Sweepstakes. Ten lucky winners will be chosen to ride with Truex at Charlotte Motor Speedway. They’ll also get to drive a few laps with the
Richard Petty Driving Experience and take a behind-the-scenes tour of Michael Waltrip Racing. To enter, visit NAPABELDEN.com or  NAPAonline.com now through September 20.

Truex and the NAPA team return to Pocono Raceway where earlier this season, a top-10 run ended during a last-lap crash. The 30-year-old from Mayetta, N.J. believes his team in on the verge of a breakthrough and the 2.5-mile tricky triangle is the perfect place to accomplish it.

QUOTES

TRUEX ON NAPA PROMOTIONS: “I have never been associated with a sponsor who really activates its NASCAR promotions like NAPA. I think it’s great that NAPA gives fans as much access as possible. We’ve had fun with the Track Pass promotion. Dave Moody put me up to a bet to sing the NAPA Know How jingle on a warm-up lap if 1,000 fans registered. After doing some research, we found out the team radio doesn’t go live until the green flag drops so the bet couldn’t be totally pulled off. We’ve got another plan so tune in to Sirius Speedway next Monday at 3:40 p.m. As of Chicagoland, over 8,500 fans have signed up. That’s impressive. I thought 1,000 was a safe number because here’s the honest truth, I am not much of a singer. I’m not the most outgoing guy or even a big talker for that matter. I have no idea why anyone would want to hear me sing NAPA Know How. If that many people signed up to hear me sing, I cannot image how many people will register for the “Take the Lead” Sweepstakes. I expect big numbers as I look forward to driving with the race fans and not scaring them by singing NAPA Know How.”

ON RETURNING TO POCONO RACEWAY: “We had a really good run at Pocono earlier this year.
Unfortunately it came to an end on the last lap when we got caught up in a wreck. That’s been pretty
much the story for this team this year or at least the past two months. We had a strong car there and
we plan to go back with a similar setup, but the summertime race at Pocono is a lot different than the
June race. This time when we go back, we’ll be searching for more grip and since the track changes,
we’ll have to go there with an open mind. We’ll fine tune our NAPA Toyota. Pocono is one of those
places where we get plenty of practice so we’ll be ready to work on the car like we do every weekend.
I feel like our TRD engine program and the way our engine performed at Chicagoland and Indy, will
be a big help too when we hit the track this go around. I really look forward to going to this race.

“We are really close to breaking through and getting that first win for the NAPA AUTO PARTS team. For our first year together, I think we forget just how new we are together as a group. Pat and I are new together as well as our entire crew. We’ve never worked together before. I feel like we are doing
a great job, but are still coming into our own as a team. We’ve had really good performances and I feel like we are getting close to getting our first win. Hopefully, it will happen for us this weekend.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
· Sunday  is Truex’s 174th Sprint Cup Series race and 10th 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 1,709 of 1,710 laps of competition (99.9%) and has led a total of four laps in competition.

· NAPA Belden enhanced spark plug wires give customers the perfect fit and patented
technology to guarantee advanced protection and ultimate power.
· NAPA continues to make the Michael Waltrip Racing team’s in-car audio available free o
charge to fans who register at www.nascar.com/napatruexscanner or www.NAPAonline.com. The offer is good through the remainder of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Trevor Bayne - Iowa Preview



CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Trevor Bayne’s goal is to be in attendance at the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series banquet at the end of the season. He knows in order to get a formal invitation he must finish in the top 10 in the championship point standings. As of late, the youngest-fulltime competitor in the series has made a huge jump toward this goal.


Over the last six races, the 19-year-old driver has scored the fourth most points of any driver, gaining two positions to rank ninth in the championship point standings. The only drivers to score more points are Carl Edwards (1010), Brad Keselowski (883) and Steven Wallace (802). The Knoxville, Tenn., native has also grabbed two pole awards, three top-fives, four top-10s and led 74 laps of competition.

QUOTES

TREVOR BAYNE ON BEING NINTH IN POINTS: “It’s our goal to make it to the banquet, however; I think it’s way too early to focus on them. I have never really been a person to pay attention to the points. I know solid finishes equal good standings in the points. We have run really well the past couple of months and have a lot of momentum on our side. I think if we keep running like we are capable of doing, we could end up in the top five.”

BAYNE ON IOWA SPEEDWAY: “Iowa is probably one of the easier tracks that we go to on the schedule. The biggest challenge is not over driving the corners. The corners look huge until you get to the middle and realize they are almost like a short track. Iowa reminds me of a mile-and-a-half track just down sized. It’s a great place to race. When I was getting ready to race there for the first time, I thought it was huge since I grew up racing on short tracks. After racing Daytona and Talladega, Iowa is almost like a short track to me.”

BAYNE ON JOHNNY BENSON: “I think having Johnny Benson on board is going to be very helpful. I talked with him before we went to IRP and he gave me some really good tips on how to get around the racetrack. This weekend will be the first time he is coming to the track with us. I think he will be able to help me get adapted to the track quicker. I also think he could provide some benefit to the entire team. He can help communicate to Jerry Baxter what the car is doing around the race track.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

• Bayne has two starts at Iowa Speedway. His first start was in 2008 where he started sixth and finished third in the K&N Pro East Series race. Last season, Bayne started fourth and finished 26th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

• Starting last week, Diamond-Waltrip Racing hired Johnny Benson as Bayne’s driving coach. Benson will attend a large majority of races with the No. 99 team. Benson owns a championship in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.

• Bayne owns 35 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts. He has three poles (Indianapolis –2009, 2010 and Gateway—2010), three top-fives and seven top-10s and has led 108 laps. His best finish (third) came at Gateway International Raceway on July 17.

• Diamond-Waltrip Racing is owned by Gary and Blake Bechtel along with Michael Waltrip Racing. It fields Toyota Camrys out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C. The Bechtels have owned cars in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series since 1990. The Morgan Hill, California residents’ teams have visited victory lane 10 times in the Nationwide Series.

• Bayne continues to remain consistent in his qualifying efforts over his first 35 starts. Over his short career, the Knoxville, Tenn., native has grabbed three poles (Indianapolis –2 and Gateway - 1), 10 top-five and 19 top-10 starting positions. He boasts a 11.3-starting average and has only started 10 races outside the top 15.

• Aaron’s, proud sponsor of the No. 99, will give away an autographed hat to a lucky race fan through Facebook and Twitter following any top-10 finish. Follow Aaron’s on Twitter (@aaronssports) and become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/AaronsSports).

• Bayne is ninth in points, but fourth among the non-Sprint Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

MWR Brickyard 400 Report

Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - finished 26th – 20th in points.


David Reutimann, No. 00 AARON’S Dream Machine Toyota Camry - finished 28th - 18th in points.



Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. saw a sure top-10 finish spoiled in the final quarter of Sunday’s Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver suffered front end damage on a restart that took him out of contention for the victory. A late race pit stop for a loose wheel dropped him off the lead lap. Until then, the No. 56 looked to be the strongest Toyota and one of the strongest of all cars in the race never venturing outside the top 10 except during pit stop cycles. The 26th-place finish keeps Truex 20th in points. The Sprint Cup series returns to action Sunday at Pocono International Raceway.



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

Truex Jr. started 12th and finished 26th.

Truex raced in the top 10 throughout the race as the highest running Toyota.

Raced in seventh when caution fell with 42 laps remaining.

Restarted the race in 13th after a problem with the jack during the pit stop.

Truex fell back to 22nd after making contact with another car on the restart causing extensive front end damage.

After repairs, a loose wheel forced Truex to pit in the final five laps dropping him off the lead lap.



TRUEX QUOTE: “It's a shame. We had a top-five Toyota and got back in traffic after a jack problem on our pit stop with about 40 to go. The restart bit us again when the cars started getting bunched up. We got damage to the nose and right side. The NAPA Know How crew did all they could. It just didn't handle competitively after that and then we had to pit late in the race for a vibration (loose right front wheel). I just hate it that our good runs are being taken away like this. I'm so disappointed.”



David Reutimann Race Summary: No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver David Reutimann’s 2010 Brickyard 400 went bad less than half a lap from the starting line in Indianapolis on Sunday. Kyle Busch triggered a multicar crash in turn two of the opening lap that saw several cars spin. Reutimann hit another car causing severe right front damage to Michael Waltrip Racing’s No. 00. Reutimann made several pit stops and spent much of the race making repairs. He ended the race in 28th down three laps to the leaders and fell from 15th to 18th in points. The Sprint Cup series returns to action Sunday at Pocono International Raceway.



David Reutimann, No. 00 AARON’S DREAM MACHINE Toyota Camry

The Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota started 29th and finished 28th

The No. 00 suffered severe damage in a first lap, multicar accident triggered by cars ahead of Reutimann.

Team made several stops to repair the damage and return Reutimann to the track.

Reutimann finished 28th—down three laps to the leaders.

Reutimann’s 11-race streak of finishing on the lead lap was the longest in Sprint Cup competition.



REUTIMANN QUOTE: "That's about as frustrating as it gets. We didn't even get a chance to race today. Something happened up in front and I had nowhere to go and hit pretty hard. They crew did a great job working on it so we could run the rest of the race and get a respectable finish. We'll get going again in Pocono."



RACE NOTES:

Jamie McMurray won the Brickyard 400 (17th Running), his fifth victory in 278 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart rounded out the top five.

There were 14 lead changes among 10 leaders and six cautions for 25 laps. Twenty five cars finished on lead lap.

Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 184 points over Jeff Gordon.

Chip Ganassi became the first owner to win the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and the Indy 500 in the same year.

Diamond-Waltrip Indy Race Report


Trevor Bayne, No. 99 OUT! Pet Care Toyota Camry - finished fourth - now ninth in points.

Trevor Bayne Race Summary: No. 99 OUT! Pet Care driver Trevor Bayne grabbed his second consecutive pole and top-five finish on Saturday night at Raceway Park in Indianapolis. Bayne chose to start the 200-lap race in the outside lane and wrestled the lead from Steven Wallace before they hit the start/finish line to complete the first lap. The 19-year-old driver led the first 39 laps before relinquishing the lead to eventual race-winner Kyle Busch. Following the first caution on lap 75, Bayne retook the lead from Busch and stayed out front until his OUT! Pet Care Toyota became a little too loose. The Knoxville, Tenn. native raced inside the top five until a late caution flag flew on lap 165. Crew Chief Jerry Baxter summoned Bayne to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Some teams opted to stay out on the race track so the Diamond-Waltrip Racing driver restarted 14th on lap 172. Bayne sliced his way through the field and by lap 174 raced seventh then on lap 178 moved to fifth. Bayne gained another spot in the closing laps to cross the finish line fourth and score his third top-five finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career. Bayne is ninth in the NNS championship point standings as the series travels to Iowa Speedway for another Saturday night race.


TREVOR BAYNE, OUT! Pet Care Toyota

Bayne qualified on the pole for the second consecutive week

This was Bayne’s second consecutive pole at Indy and third career NNS pole

Bayne led twice for 55 laps

Bayne suffered from a loose-handling Toyota for the majority of the race

Bayne restarted 14th on the lap 172 but grabbed seven spots in just three laps

Bayne scored his second consecutive top-five finish and his third career top-five finish

In 35 NNS starts Bayne has three poles, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes



BAYNE QUOTE: “Man, I love this short track race. wish we could do it every weekend. ’s what I’ve grown up doing, it’s what I still love to do. ’s just beating and banging, but when you get together you can still gather it up because you’re not going too fast. had a couple close calls, but we fought back to another top-five. was just talking to Jerry (Baxter, crew chief), we’re starting to get greedy. get a top-five and now we want to win this thing. , I know how Kyle Busch and Joey Logano feel when they come in and are complaining about finishing second. ’s a great run all day for the Out! Pet Care Toyota. Everybody here, they work so hard. pit stops were pretty good and we unloaded fast, stayed fast all day. top-fives in a row – we’ll take it.”



NNS Racing Results

Kyle Busch won the Kroger 200 benefitting Riley Hospital for Children, his 38th victory in 189 NNS races.

This is his eighth victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2010

This is his third victory and fourth top-10 finish in six races at Indy

Carl Edwards (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Indy

Aric Almirola, Bayne and Reed Sorenson rounded out the top five

The race featured seven lead changes among four drivers. Cautions slowed the race six times for 36 laps.

NASCAR estimated 40,000 race fans in attendance at Indy

Saturday, July 24, 2010

MWR Indy Qualifying Report


Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - Qualified 12th

David Reutimann, Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Qualified 29th.

Saturday Recap

Juan Montoya won the pole with a time of 49.375 sec. - 182.278 mph.

Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman rounded out top five

47 cars qualified for 43 spots. Truex went out fifth and Reutimann 11th.

After qualifying, the Sprint Cup cars held two, hour-long practices Saturday afternoon.

Sunday’s 17th running of the Brickyard 400 begins at 1 p.m. on ESPN, MRN Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio 128.



MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry- “I really look forward to coming here to Indy. It’s a totally different kind of track when comparing to most tracks we race on the NASCAR circuit. We had a good practice yesterday with our NAPA Toyota so I am looking forward to the Brickyard 400. We had a good early draw here, but I’m not sure if we took advantage of it as much as I would have liked. We’ll work hard on the NAPA Toyota in race trim  this afternoon. I really enjoy racing here and it presents a big challenge obviously.”



Did you think you would run better having the early draw? “You are never perfect here. The four corners are all a little bit different. It is hard to hit them all right. It’s hard to get your car the same in all four corners. We fought one issue on one end and another issue on the other end. I am not sure if you can ever be perfectly happy. We weren’t happy with our lap and that’s after having picked up almost a second from our q-run in practice. We are around eight-tenths quicker. So it is a big pick up. You have to go out there willing to drive it harder than you did yesterday in practice and hope it is enough. It is a delicate balance to go out there and not over drive it. It is a difficult qualifying session here because you get to sit overnight and think about it. You make changes and go out there knowing you will have to pick it up. It’s a difficult qualifying session. I feel like in race trim we were as good as anyone in the first practice. We ran really good, consistent laps and that means we could be good here. We’ll just have to see. We’ll go to work during today’s practices and I think we are really close in race trim. Hopefully that qualifying run won’t be too bad and we’ll be able to take advantage of that and have a good NAPA Toyota this weekend.”



DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry- “We’re pretty disappointed with that run. That isn't what we were expecting or hoping for. We’ll have our work cut out for us tomorrow. We’ll have a chance to put it in race trim this afternoon and if we are good on Sunday we shouldn’t have a problem getting the Aaron’s dream machine up to the front. It’s a long tough race.”

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aarons, MWR and David Reutimann Together Through 2012 in Sprint Cup Series



Aaron’s Ups Primary Sponsorship From 24 to 30 races in 2010
Extends Agreement through 2011 & 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (JULY 25, 2010) – Michael Waltrip Racing announced today that it has signed agreements extending its relationships with driver David Reutimann and primary sponsor Aaron’s, Inc. on the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota through the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

“I’m glad both Michael Waltrip Racing and Aaron’s want to keep me around,” joked Reutimann. “I’ve been asked about my contract for the last month and we’ve had a handshake agreement, but now it’s done and I’m glad I can finally talk about it. I’m thrilled. This is where I want to be – at Michael Waltrip Racing driving the No. 00 with Aaron’s on the hood. Aaron’s has been a great partner and I consider myself a lucky dog every time I get behind the wheel of the Aaron’s Dream Machine.

“Michael and Darrell Waltrip have given me just about every chance I have ever had in NASCAR since 2004 and I don’t want to go anywhere else. Good things are happening here and I plan to be a part of it.”

Reutimann, 40, earned his second Sprint Cup victory on July 10 in Chicagoland. He earned his and MWR’s first Sprint Cup victory at Charlotte in May 2009. He owns victories all three NASCAR national touring series. No driver owns more Toyota starts than Reutimann in NASCAR.

MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip said he never doubted Reutimann’s return.

“We never wavered on wanting to extend David and neither did Aaron’s. David and Aaron’s are like family to me. They’ve both been a large part of Michael Waltrip Racing since the very beginning and have stuck with us through thick and thin,” said Waltrip. “In the beginning we all took a chance on each other. You might say it was a high-risk, high reward proposition for everyone involved, but we all believed in each other and we are now starting to see those rewards a little more each day.

“Aaron’s along with NAPA AUTO PARTS and Toyota are three of the cornerstones MWR built upon over the years. Their loyalty to us has been as important as any ingredient in our success of late. I’m very proud that these companies have stayed with us as long as they have. We have a very bright future and plan to reward their loyalty in the coming years as we grow and continue to visit victory lane.”

Aaron’s will increase its primary sponsorship of Reutimann’s No.00 from 24 to 30 races in 2010 with TUMS and Best Western completing the schedule. Aaron’s will remain at 30 races in 2011 and 2012 and assume associate sponsorship position with all MWR Toyotas.

“Increasing our involvement in the NACSAR Sprint Cup Series and extending our partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing and David Reutimann through 2012 is a testament to how successful this relationship has been for Aaron’s,” stated Ken Butler, Chief Operating Officer of Aaron’s, Inc. “Much of Aaron’s growth and success is a direct result of our partnership with MWR and we are thrilled to continue that for two more seasons. We have built a rich history with Michael Waltrip and this organization over the last 11 years and I could not imagine Aaron’s partnering with anyone else in this sport. We look forward to being a part of their continued success.”

Aaron’s relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing began in 2000 when the Atlanta-based company sponsored six races for Waltrip’s Nationwide team. The relationship grew from a partial Nationwide program to one of the most recognizable Cup partnerships in the sport with aggressive activation and extensive usage of Waltrip and Reutimann in television and radio commercials.

MWR fields fulltime NASCAR Sprint Cup teams for Reutimann and Martin Truex Jr. as well as a fulltime K&N Pro Series entry and a six-race Nationwide Series entry for Ryan Truex. MWR along with Gary and Blake Bechtel co-own Diamond-Waltrip Racing that fields a fulltime Nationwide entry for Trevor Bayne.

About Aaron’s, Inc.

Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), the nation’s leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, has more than 1,730 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.aarons.com.



###

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

David Reutimann - Indianapolis Motor Speedway Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver David Reutimann says racing and working on cars is the only business he’s ever known. Growing up, Reutimann followed his father Emil “Buzzie” Reutimann, a hall of fame dirt track racer, up and down the east coast racing at small town tracks and living off purse money. Now the roles are reversed and 69-year-old Buzzie follows his son from track to track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. Two weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway Buzzie stuck his head into David’s car window seconds after he pulled into victory lane to share a very special moment.

QUOTES

BUZZIE REUTIMANN ON DAVID’S CHICAGO WIN: “People want you to put into words what it feels like to watch your son win a race at the highest level, but I don’t think there are really words that can describe that feeling. We can sit and talk about winning races all night long, but it’s the ones we lose we don’t want to talk about a whole lot. It was just a great victory. I know that when David won that Coke 600 that he always felt that it was sort of a “gimmie” and he was living with that. I know when he won that race in Chicago that the weight of the world came off his shoulders - you could just tell the relief in him. The first thing I said to him when I stuck my head in the car in victory lane was, ‘Tonight we did it kid! There was no rain in sight and it was all about the racing.’ I said, ‘You whipped them all! Tonight we’re the best!’ but I think it took a couple days for it all to sink in.”

BUZZIE REUTIMANN ON THE SHOW OF RESPECT FROM OTHER DRIVERS: “The other drivers coming over and congratulating David meant just as much as winning the race to me. When Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards came to victory lane—and even back in the garage where they were working on the cars—all the guys on the other team came and offered congratulations. Getting the respect from the other drivers means a lot. You race guys like you want to be raced and that makes a big difference because if you start roughing guys up it’s going to come back to you—I taught him that. I told him don’t go out there and run over somebody because you’re likely to get run over the next time. David’s been pretty smart about that.”

PRESS CONFERENCE: Michael Waltrip Racing will make an announcement regarding the No. 00 team at noon Friday in the Economaki Press Conference Room at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Reutimann & Waltrip will be available to media after the announcement.

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

• Only Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton have a better average finish than Reutimann (11.6) in the last 10 races. Reutimann is tied with Denny Hamlin during that span.

• In the last 10 point races, Reutimann has scored 1,341 points - sixth most of any driver and moved from 27th in points to 15th. The 12-position gain is the largest gain among any driver over that span — Tony Stewart gained the second most positions at +6.

• Reutimann currently has the longest streak of consecutive lead laps finishes at 11 races. He has finished on the lead lap in 15 or 16 races that he was running at the finish and 15 out of 19 total races in 2010.

• Reutimann led 52 laps in his win at Chicagoland Speedway—the second highest total of any race in his career (Best, 104 laps at Richmond in fall 2008). He has collected 25 bonus points for leading laps in five of the 11 races. Reutimann has one win, three top-fives and nine top-15 finishes during that span.

• Reutimann has finished 20th or better in 14 of the 15 races that he has been running at the finish in 2010—and 15th or better in 11 of the 15.

Trevor Bayne - Indianapolis Preview



CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 99 OUT! Pet Care Toyota driver Trevor Bayne burst onto the NASCAR scene at Indianapolis a year ago when he won his first pole and finished seventh in just his seventh Nationwide Series start. The 19-year-old will make his 35th career start —equal to a full season of NNS competition— on Saturday night at Indianapolis. The Diamond-Waltrip driver’s success of late is more like that of a veteran driver than a first year driver. Last weekend he won the pole, led 19 laps and posted a career-best third-place finish at Gateway. That came on the heels of recent good runs like the fifth-place finish at New Hampshire and a 10th-place finish at Road America—his first road course race.


QUOTES

CO-OWNER MICHAEL WALTRIP ON BAYNE: “Trevor is a 19-year-old kid that isn’t scared to go up there and mix it up with the Cup guys. We haven’t seen a lot of young guys that have been able to get up near the front and immediately contend, but Trevor has been able to do that. He is someone that races every lap like it might be his last. He kind of reminds me of Martin (Truex Jr.) when he first jumped onto the scene. His youthfulness, enthusiasm and willingness to listen and learn brings a special spark to this team. He wants to know what he is supposed to do in each situation. He wants the respect of his competitors.”

CREW CHIEF JERRY BAXTER ON BAYNE: “Trevor has learned a lot over the past year. The biggest thing we have worked on with him is patience. He likes to go out there and run every lap as hard as he can. We have really tried to get him to run 80 to 85 percent for the first two thirds of the race and keep the car in one piece. Over the last couple of months he has really started coming into his own. I think he has realized that when someone is fast let them by instead of racing the wheels off the race car. He has learned how to get everything he can out of the race car. I really think once Trevor starts going back to these tracks two and three times, he will start competing for wins every week.”

TREVOR BAYNE ON INDIANAPOLIS: “I like racing at Indy a lot—it fits my driving style. We won the pole, led 34 laps and finished seventh last year. The car was solid the entire race until Steven Wallace got into us when the caution flag flew and we got stuck back in traffic. I think we had a car to win but we just weren’t able to get back up to the front after the mishap.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

• Diamond-Waltrip Racing is owned by Gary and Blake Bechtel along with Michael Waltrip Racing. It fields Toyota Camrys out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C. The Bechtels have owned cars in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series since 1990. The Morgan Hill, California residents’ teams have visited victory lane 10 times in the Nationwide Series.

• Bayne is 11th in points, but fifth among the non-Sprint Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series.

• Get your dog’s picture on Bayne’s No. 99 OUT! Pet Care Toyota by going to www.outpetcare.com and register for the “Top Dog of the Week.”

• Bayne owns 34 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts. He has two poles (Indianapolis –2009 and Gateway—2010), two top-fives and six top-10s and has led 53 laps. His average starting spot is 12th and average finish is 18th. His best finish (third) came at Gateway International Raceway on July 17.

Martin Truex Jr. Indy Preview


CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Crew Chief Pat Tryson and driver Martin Truex Jr. hope to replicate what teammate David Reutimann did two weeks ago in Chicagoland and make it two wins in a row for Michael Waltrip Racing. Sunday’s running of the Brickyard 400 is one of the most prestigious races on the schedule. For the 30-year-old from Mayetta, N.J., kissing the bricks would rank up there with winning a Daytona 500.



Truex spent the off weekend around his home in North Carolina and tuned in to ESPN2 to watch little brother Ryan make his Nationwide debut Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway. The younger Truex raced from mid-pack to eighth before an accident ended his race about 20 laps before the finish.

QUOTES

Martin Truex Jr. on Running at Indy: “The Brickyard 400 is a big deal. You really feel the history when you walk in there and think about all of the Indy 500s and Brickyard 400s and all of the great finishes and great drivers winning. It’s one of those key races of the year where everybody wants to go there and win it. It reminds me of the Daytona 500. Obviously we’re coming off a big weekend with David winning and we had a great night so things are going well at Michael Waltrip Racing. I’m looking forward to running the NAPA Toyota again. It’s funny. You get these weekends off and you think, ‘Oh yeah, a weekend off is coming up.’ Then you get to the weekend and you feel like you should be doing something. I can’t wait to get back to the track. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Truex on NAPA Team’s Indy Preparations: “Our team preparation for this big race is not that much different than what we do all year long. It’s not like we have to build a special car to go there like we do at Daytona and Talladega. It’s a flat track with long straight-aways. It’s somewhat similar to Pocono. I think a lot of guys look back at Pocono and judge from that race as to what they need to work on and prepare for Indy. I feel confident that we can use some of what we learned from Pocono for this event. Obviously we also want to take our best engine and TRD gave us something to work with at Chicago for sure.”

On Watching Brother Ryan’s Debut at Gateway Last Weekend: “I stayed home because I get really nervous watching him. I was still a little bit nervous following practice on the computer. I obviously watched qualifying and the race. He ended up doing probably better than I thought. He did a great job, and I think I’ll be OK to go to the next one. I just didn’t want to go there and put any extra pressure on him. I know he had a lot of people watching him and he had a lot of pressure on him, so I didn’t want to add to that. He did a great job and what impressed me was his ability to stay pretty calm both on and off the track. He did good with it. He ran a really good race all but the last 20 laps. I think he learned a lot and I think he earned respect from the other drivers and had a good first outing. I’m proud of him.”



Crew Chief Pat Tryson on Indy Challenges: “Qualifying can influence how well you run there. If you get a bad draw, it can get you behind because it is so tough to pass there unless you have a really, really good car. If you go back to last year, Juan Pablo Montoya had the best car there and was driving away with it until he got a pit road penalty. He came out 12th and could only pick up one spot on the track. It’s a tough track because it is so hard to pass. To have a chance at the win, you need a good motor and a car that can really turn well.”



NOTES

NAPA AUTO PARTS continues to bring Martin Truex Jr. fans a little bit closer to the action. On Sunday at Indy and lasting through the remainder of the season, NAPA is making the Michael Waltrip Racing team’s in-car audio available free of charge to fans who register at www.nascar.com/napatruexscanner or http://www.napaonline.com/. Tune in and enjoy the race!

Sunday’s race is Truex’s 172nd Sprint Cup Series start and sixth at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His best start of 13th came last year and in 2007, he recorded his best finish of 12th. During his career, he has two top-15 and four top-25 finishes. His average start and finish is 22nd. He has led three laps in competition.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bayne Starts From The Pole and Finishes A Career Best Third At Gateway

 
Trevor Bayne Race Summary:  No. 99 Out Pet Care Toyota driver Trevor Bayne earned his second career pole and posted a career-best third-place finish Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway. Bayne opted to stay on the race track while the leaders pitted with just under 30 laps remaining to take the lead.  Bayne relinquished two spots during the several restarts but was still able to hold off cars with fresher tires through the wild racing to hold on for the third-place finish.  Bayne led the race’s opening lap and never faded outside the top-five in the first half of the race. The Jerry Baxter-led team prepared a Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota that looked good in every practice, qualifying and in the race on the 1.25-mile oval. Bayne’s finished, kept him in 11th-place in the series points race. The Nationwide Series returns to action Saturday night in Indianapolis.
 
‪·‬ Bayne won his second career pole in just his 34th career race.
‪·‬ His third-place finish was the best of his brief career.
‪·‬ Bayne led the first lap and never fell outside the top five in the first half of the race.
‪·‬ Ran in the top-10 in second half of the race.
‪·‬ With 20 laps remaining, crew chief Jerry Baxter had Bayne stay on the track giving him the lead.
‪·‬ Carl Edwards and Brad Kesolowski passed Bayne before a red flag stopped the race.
‪·‬ Bayne restarted the with two laps to go in fourth and finished third after Kesolowski and Edwards made contact.
 
BAYNE QUOTE:  How do you feel after tonight’s race?
“It was just a really enduring race.  It was hard for the drivers, it was hard for the team, but Jerry Baxter (crew chief) did a great job with the call there to not pit and got us our track position back.  We had a strong enough car to be up there and that was the way it was for us in our Out! Pet Car Toyota all weekend.  We unloaded fast, in the top three, qualified on the pole and then finished top three so it’s a great weekend for us.  Can’t thank everyone enough for giving us this opportunity.  It was a great weekend for us and we’re happy to be in the top three.”
 
How important was the call by Jerry Baxter to not pit on the last caution?
“That was a crucial call for us and we had fallen back to eighth.  That wasn’t because of our car, that was just because of some coincidences that had happened when I got pinched down on the bottom by the 62 (Brendan Gaughan) and that cost us to lose a couple spots.  We were coming back, but track position is so important here because you don’t have the gear to get off the corners.  That was a really great call and it took a lot of guts for Jerry Baxter (crew chief) to do that, to leave us out when everybody was coming down pit road.  It paid off for us.  We got a top three out of it, we had a strong Out! Pet Care Toyota all weekend.  We unloaded top three, stayed top three all through practices, qualified on the pole and then finished top three.  Just a really strong weekend for us.”
 
What did you see on the final lap between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski?
“I had a front row view of it for sure.  I was just hoping I could get by the 32 (Reed Sorenson) because I figured for sure I would win the race if I got by him because I figured the 60 (Carl Edwards) and 22 (Brad Keselowski) would kind of take care of themselves just by the way turn one and two looked.  It was insane from the very beginning of the restart.  They went into one and two -- Keselowski overdrove it and slid up the track and it looked like the 22 just overdrove it a couple times and slid up the track and tried to run the 60 up and then the 60 just came down there at the end and got the 22 from what I saw.  I was kind of focused on chasing my car through three and four because I overdrove it as well on the last lap.  Fortunately, it helped us and we got our first top three.  It doesn’t really matter how we got it, as long as we got it.  I hate it for those guys because they were so dominant all day, but it was just a great run for us.”
 
Ryan Truex Race Summary: It only took half a race for No. 00 Ryan Truex to claw his way into the top-10 in his first NASCAR Nationwide Series appearance. The 2009 K&N Pro Series East Champion and 2010 points leader impressed competitors and fans at Gateway International Raceway on Saturday night by driving like a veteran. The 18-year-old qualified 18th then stormed into the top 10 at the halfway mark and even climbed as high as eighth. With just 22 laps remaining, Truex lost control of his car and slapped the wall. He parked the car after the accident but drove the No. 20 Toyota in relief for Matt DiBenedetto who was involved in an earlier accident. Truex returns to Nationwide race at Michigan on Aug. 14.
 
‪·‬ Truex started his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 18th.
‪·‬ Truex moved into the top-10 at the halfway mark of the race.
‪·‬ He climbed as high as eighth late in the race.
‪·‬ Raced in 10th on lap 178 when he hit the wall and pulled into the garage.
‪·‬ Served a relief driver for Matt DiBenedetto who was in an accident earlier in the race.
 
TRUEX QUOTE: "Man that was a lot of fun until I spun out. I was really surprised how well we ran. I didn’t know if we would run that well. Napa and my crew made all this happen. I just drive. I have a lot to learn but that started tonight. I was having fun out there. Really, I was. Next time will be more about racing. This weekend was getting in the field and learning. I got hot out there, but I think everyone did. Sounds like it was a cool finish.”
 
RACE NOTES:
‪·‬ Carl Edwards and Brad Kesolowski made contact the front stretch coming to the checkered flag.
‪·‬ Edwards survived the contact and claimed the victory. Kesolowski hit and wall and was struck by another car and finished 14th.
‪·‬ Reed Sorenson finished second and Bayne finished third.
‪·‬ The next race is July 24 at Raceway Park in Indianapolis.
 
Results
1           Carl Edwards
2           Reed Sorenson
3           Trevor Bayne
4           Paul Menard
5           Steve Wallace
6           Brian Scott *
7           Colin Braun *
8           Josh Wise
9           Ricky Stenhouse Jr. *
10         Tony Raines
11         Michael Annett
12         Shelby Howard
13         Steve Arpin
14         Brad Keselowski
15         Willie Allen
16         Kevin Harvick
17         Brendan Gaughan
18         Tayler Malsam
19         Mike Bliss
20         Kenny Wallace
21         Morgan Shepherd
22         Mike Wallace
23         Jason Leffler
24         Alex Kennedy
25         Justin Allgaier
26         Eric McClure
27         Joe Nemechek
28         Ryan Truex
29         Matt DiBenedetto
30         Brad Coleman
31         Landon Cassill
32         Kelly Bires
33         Brad Baker
34         Jason Keller
35         Kevin Lepage
36         Chase Miller
37         Danny O'Quinn Jr.
38         Brian Keselowski
39         Kevin Swindell
40         Johnny Chapman
41         Johnny Sauter
42         Dennis Setzer
‪43‬        Mark Green
 
Points
1           Brad Keselowski          Leader
2           Carl Edwards                -168
3           Justin Allgaier                -497
4           Kyle Busch                    -556
5           Kevin Harvick                -608
6           Paul Menard                  -675
7           Steve Wallace               -838
8           Brendan Gaughan       -915
9           Joey Logano                 -934
10         Jason Leffler                 -954
11         Trevor Bayne                -1002
12         Brian Scott*                   -1051
13         Michael Annett             -1069
14         Reed Sorenson            -1085
15         Tony Raines                  -1110
16         Kenny Wallace             -1296
17         Mike Wallace                 -1323
18         Mike Bliss                      -1341
19         Eric McClure                 -1483
20         Ricky Stenhouse Jr.*   -1494
21         Joe Nemechek             -1499
22         Michael McDowell        -1563
23         Jason Keller                  -1608
24         Colin Braun*                  -1633
25         Greg Biffle                     -1674
26         Scott Lagasse Jr.         -1714
27         Josh Wise                     -1847
28         Willie Allen                    -1962
29         Shelby Howard            -1972
30         Robert Richardson Jr.  -1983
31         Jamie McMurray          -1998
32         Morgan Shepherd        -2014
33         Brian Keselowski         -2068
34         James Buescher*         -2139
35         Mark Green                   -2156
36         Clint Bowyer                  -2187

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trevor Bayne Race Advance - Gateway


CORNELIUS, N.C. — After working with veteran drivers most of his career, No. 99 OUT! Pet Care crew chief Jerry Baxter carries the added responsibility of overseeing a NASCAR Nationwide team with a talented rookie. Baxter and his 19-year-old driver Trevor Bayne have turned in impressive performances throughout this season as well endured some disappointments—not all of their making— like closing lap accidents in the last two races that ruined runs by Bayne. This weekend at Gateway International Raceway Bayne and Baxter hope 18-year-old driver Ryan Truex’s Nationwide Series debut as Bayne’s teammate should help both drivers on the 1.25-mile St. Louis oval.
 
QUOTES
 
BAXTER ON VETERAN AND ROOKIE DRIVERS: “There is a big difference between working with Michael (Waltrip) and Trevor Bayne. The veteran drivers know what they want in a race car because they have done it for so long and you set it up the way they want it. With Trevor, we have to let him tell us what he is feeling and then we make a decision based on his input and our past experience. He hasn't been at these tracks a lot so he can’t relate past experiences so I think getting the car right lies more on my shoulders now than it did in the past.”
 
BAXTER ON WHAT YOU TELL A YOUNG DRIVER AFTER A TOUGH RACE: “Trevor doesn’t seem like he carries things over from the past weekend. He does a really good job of not carrying a grudge over from a prior incident. He does a really good about letting things roll of his chest and get focused for the next weekend.”
 
GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: “(Ryan Truex Crew Chief) Mike Greci and I have worked really hard together over the past couple of weeks to get both of our cars ready for this weekend. I think it gives me an extra person do bounce ideas off of. Trevor and Ryan are both young drivers and they get along really well so they should be able to help each other out. We think this will benefit our whole Nationwide organization.”
 
BAYNE ON RYAN TRUEX: “I have been looking forward to having a teammate all season. It gives me someone to bounce ideas off of and it also gives us another car to try different setups. I believe there are some things that we can learn from each other that will make us better racers. We plan go to Gateway this weekend with identical setups and hopefully between the two cars, we can come up with a setup that can win the race.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
 
• Diamond-Waltrip Racing is owned by Gary and Blake Bechtel along with Michael Waltrip Racing. It fields Toyota Camrys out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C. The Bechtels have owned cars in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series since 1990. The Morgan Hill, California residents’ teams have visited victory lane 10 times in the Nationwide Series.

• Bayne will sign autographs on pit road on Friday at 3:15 p.m.
 
• Bayne started 12th and finished 27th last year in his only Gateway start.

• Bayne is 11th in points, but fifth among the non-Sprint Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series.
 
• Get your dog’s picture on Bayne’s No. 99 OUT! Pet Care Toyota by going to www.outpetcare.com and register for the “Top Dog of the Week.”
 
• Bayne has five top-10 finishes in 33 career starts. His best finish (fifth) came at New Hampshire International Speedway on June 26.

Ryan Truex Race Preview - NNS debut at Gateway


CORNELIUS, N.C. — Defending K&N Pro Series East champion and 2010 points leader Ryan Truex makes his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway. Truex will pilot the No. 00 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the 200-lap race on the 1.25-mile oval near St. Louis. When the 18-year-old Mayetta, N.J. native takes the green flag, he’ll be the youngest of any driver racing in NASCAR’s top-three series. Truex is the son of race car driver Martin Truex Sr. and the younger brother of Martin Truex Jr. who drives the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing.

QUOTES

Truex on racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series: “It is a really big opportunity and I’m just excited to get started. I can’t wait to get the first race started. I just can’t thank everyone enough at MWR for giving me this opportunity. 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 my opportunity.”

Truex on following in brother Martin’s footsteps: “It’s pretty big shoes to fill. I don’t expect to go out and set the world on fire. I know it’s not going to happen. I’m just going to get my feet wet and just try to get as much experience as I can. I’m not going to go in and think I can run top-10 or top-five or anything like that. It’s a tough series. It took him a lot of starts to figure it out. It’s going to be tough. I put more pressure on myself than anything just to run as good as him just because of the last name and everything. I’m just going to go and try to do the best that I can.”

Truex on racing at Gateway: “I’ve never been there before so I’ll get some advice from my brother. He’s always helped me out in the K&N Pro Series cars so this series won’t be any different in that respect. It’s a tough series, they have a lot of the cup series guys competing each week, but the cars aren’t that much different than what I have been running in. I’m just going to go to the track and get as much practice time as I can on Saturday. I’m not there to set the world on fire, I’m just there to learn, gain respect and show them that I deserve to be there.”

Martin Jr. on coaching Ryan: “It’s been fun to watch Ryan progress. Like he said, he hasn’t been doing this very long and he’s come a long way as a driver. He’s been impressive on the race track and behind the wheel. All the things that he’s done has led to this point. I’ll coach if he needs help, but he’s done a great job so far and he’s got a great team behind him. I look forward to watching him make his first start in the Nationwide Series.”

Martin Sr. on his son’s Gateway debut: “I am very proud of him. In the early days I wasn’t sure this is what he wanted to do and I really never coaxed him to do it. When he was about 14 years old, he decided he wanted to race. I wasn’t real happy about it, but we’re proud of what he’s doing and he’s really come a long way in a short time. I think he’s really got some true talent. As we progress up the ladder, we’ll see what he has.”

Notes
 Ryan Truex will be available in the Gateway media center at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

• Veteran Mike Greci, who once served as Martin Truex’s crew chief, will serve as Ryan Truex’s crew chief this weekend at Gateway.

• Martin Truex Sr. competed in 15 Nationwide Series races 1989-1998. His best career finish of 12th came at Nazareth Speedway in 1994. He won an East Series race at New Hampshire in 1994.

• Ryan is the first driver to earn a championship for Michael Waltrip Racing when he won the K&N Pro Series East Championship in 2009. He leads the 2010 standings by 43 points over Darrell Wallace Jr.