CORNELIUS, N.C. — As a youngster, Martin Truex Jr. dreamed of two professions— race car driving and playing baseball. He’ll live both dreams this weekend. The No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver plans to take batting practice and throw out the first pitch before the Saturday’s Philadelphia Phillies-New York Mets baseball game. The 30-year-old Mayetta, N.J. native is an avid Philadelphia sports fan supporting the Eagles, Flyers and Phillies. Truex attended Games 3, 4 and 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals as well as the Flyers’ conference final against Montreal hours after the May Dover race.
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver also has plenty of racing business to take care of this weekend. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits the historic road course of Watkins Glen International where Truex owns two top-six finishes in his four career starts. Last week at Pocono, Truex finished ninth—his fifth top-10 of the 2010 season.
TRUEX ON ATTENDING SATURDAY’S PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES GAME: “It’s going to be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to throwing out the first pitch. I’ve got a good arm so I’m not really nervous and as of right now, I’m not going to practice. I’m willing to take the risk. I’m very aware that if I don't throw it across the plate or in the strike zone, I’m going to get booed. It’s just part of the deal. I also really can’t wait to see the Philly Phanatic. He’s hilarious! I’ve been to a lot of Philadelphia Phillies games over the years and two years ago I got to attend Game 5 of the World Series. It was rained out so I didn’t get to see them finish the deal off, but I still had a great time.”
ON RACING AT WATKINS GLEN: “I’ve had some great runs at Watkins Glen in the past. Of the two road courses we go to, Watkins Glen has produced better results for me. Earlier this year, the NAPA team ran really well at Infineon Raceway. We had a top-three going until we got wrecked so we didn’t get the finish we wanted or deserved. But we had a very strong car and I think Michael Waltrip Racing’s road course program is really strong. I think a lot of that credit goes to Marcos Ambrose. He’s done a lot of testing and the experience he has brought to the table with the setups and feedback have been great. I am really looking forward to the race. I think our NAPA Toyota will be good. I really love the track so hopefully it will be a really great weekend. I think we have a good chance at being up front and challenge for the win.”
ON THE NAPA TEAM’S TOP-10 FINISH AT POCONO: “It is so nice to get a top-10 under us because the last few weeks we have had really strong cars, but haven’t delivered the good finishes. If we can continue to do this and take advantage of having really good cars then this NAPA team will be in good shape.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
Sunday is Truex’s 175th Sprint Cup Series race and fifth at Watkins Glen International. His best start is 12th (2007) and finish is fifth (2008). He’s earned one top-five and two top-10 finishes. His average start is 22nd and finish is 28th. He has run all 308 laps in competition.
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. The enhanced spark plug wires give customers the perfect fit and patented technology to guarantee advanced protection and ultimate power.
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.