CORNELIUS, N.C. — NAPA Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. visits Michigan International Speedway after enjoying three days of smallmouth bass and salmon fishing at one of his favorite fishing holes in Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Mich. The welcomed break comes after last weekend’s 15th-place finish at Watkins Glen International, his 10th top-15 of the season, and a trip to Philadelphia to throw out the first pitch at the Phillies-Mets game.
The 30-year-old Mayetta, N.J. native likes his chances this weekend and expects to improve upon his 17th-place finish at MIS on June 13. He and Crew Chief Pat Tryson should excel as the pair visit tracks for the second time together this season. Twelve of the final 14 races are at venues that have hosted a NASCAR Sprint Cup race in 2010.
TRUEX ON FISHING IN MICHIGAN: “This is the second time this season that I have come up here to take a break from it all and just fish. I absolutely love it because I enjoy the challenge of catching fish. Since I was a little kid I loved to fish. For me, it’s all about the catch and the challenge of finding the fish and making them bite when they don’t want to bite.”
ON ATTENDING SATURDAY’S PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES GAME: “I have thrown out a pitch before, but I did it along with five or six other guys. This time it was just me and it was a real honor to do it. It was a packed house at the Citizens Bank Park. I did not realize it, but it was Toyota Phillies Alumni Night! I literally walked out onto the field with 40 players from the Phillies past and it included Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Jim Bunning! It was such an added bonus for me to experience that.”
ON RETURNING TO MICHIGAN: “I absolutely expect the NAPA team to be even better now that we are returning to tracks for a second time. We’ve learned a lot as a new team and are bringing back even better NAPA Toyotas. Sometimes it’s not a matter of what to do but what not to do based on what we’ve learned. I expect nothing but good things because with this being me and Pat’s first year together, we finally have a book of notes to work off of so it will be an advantage for us.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
• Sunday is Truex’s 176th Sprint Cup Series race and 10th at Michigan International Speedway. His best start of fifth came last season (Aug. 16). In 2007, he recorded back-to-back second-place finishes at the two-mile oval. He’s earned two top-five, two-top 10 and seven top-25 finishes. His average start is 14th and average finish is 17th. He has run 1,726 of 1,735 laps of competition (99.5%) and has led a total of 54 laps in competition.
• In his first race at MIS driving the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota, Truex started 13th and finished 17th.
• 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 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
• Check out Martin’s trip to the Philadelphia Phillies game: http://tiny.cc/l526n