CORNELIUS, N.C. — In the NASCAR world, Labor Day weekend means it’s time for the Sunday night Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but to families across the country, the holiday signifies the start of a new school year. No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. wants to help out about 200 of those school kids near his North Carolina home.
Truex will host the third annual Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Golf Tournament presented by NAPA on Sept. 22 at the Sea Oaks Country Club in Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Proceeds from the golf tournament will help build the Martin Truex Jr. Pediatric Unit at Southern Ocean County Hospital in N.J. as well as assist Troutman (N.C.) Elementary School students. Through the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina’s Backpack Program, Truex plans to pass out backpacks to the children stuffed with food.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. ON MTJ FOUNDATION AND BACKPACK PROGRAM: “A few years ago, Sherry and I wanted to start a foundation because as kids, we knew we were lucky and there were a lot of kids out there that weren’t has fortunate. In 2007, we were able to launch the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. Over the years we have been introduced to a lot of great organizations and one that has become important to us is the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. We wanted to help after hearing how children who participated in its Backpack program said if it wasn’t for their backpack food, they wouldn’t have had anything to eat. Hearing that harsh reality, we wanted to get involved. This year we’ll be assisting students at Troutman Elementary.”
ON RETURNING TO ATLANTA: “I absolutely love racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It’s one of my favorites and that’s a good thing considering the track is in NAPA Headquarters backyard. Both Pat Tryson and I have had good runs there. Pat won there last year with Kurt Busch. I’ve come close to winning several times including this past spring. We simply got caught up in the wreck on that green-white-checkered finish. I feel like you can really drive the car hard there. The track is really wide and you’ll see guys running up top, in the middle and down low. I like the fact that we won’t be fighting for one lane. If you are faster than a guy, you can find a way to get around him. I like my chances this weekend in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. We’ve got a lot of NAPA folks joining us so it would be great to end up in victory lane.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
Sunday is Truex’s 178th Sprint Cup Series race and 12th at the 1.533-mile track. His best start is first (Sept. 6, 2009) and best finish is eighth (Oct. 30 , 2005). During his career, Truex has earned two top-10 and five top-25 finishes at AMS. His average start is 18th and his average finish is 24th. He has led 204 laps in competition.
In just two years, the MTJ Foundation has raised more than $400,000 for various community programs and initiatives such as the Backpack Program and building the Martin Truex Jr. Pediatric Unit at Southern Ocean County Hospital in N.J. To find out more, visit www.martintruexjrfoundation.org.
Sign up for 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 Sept. 20.
Don’t be left out. Over 10,000 fans have taken advantage of NAPA’s free Track Pass offer. To listen in to Truex’s in-car audio, register at www.nascar.com/napatruexscanner or www.NAPAonline.com. The offer is good through the remainder of the season.