All-Star: Martin Truex Jr preview

Truex Looking for Boost from All -- Star Weekend MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 13, 2008) -- MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 13, 2008) -- Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver Martin Truex Jr. had struggled through the 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season leading up to last...

Truex Looking for Boost from All -- Star Weekend

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 13, 2008) -- MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 13, 2008) -- Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver Martin Truex Jr. had struggled through the 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season leading up to last year's All -- Star weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Mayetta, N.J. native was 18th in points and neither he nor his team had found any consistency on a week-to-week basis.

"We had been struggling through the first part of last year," Truex said. "We ran good at Daytona to start off the year, but we got caught up in a wreck and finished 29th. Then we had an engine failure at California the next week and finished 42nd. Even though we had managed to put together a couple of good runs after that, we were still trying to find our way as a team."

The All-Star weekend marked a turning point for Truex and his Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team. Truex won the Sprint Showdown, which qualified him for the NASCAR Sprint All--Star race.

As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads back to the 1.5-mile speedway for this weekend's All-Star activities, Truex reflected on what the weekend last May meant to him.

"Winning the Showdown was big for a couple of reasons," Truex said. "First, it qualified us for the All-Star race, which was one of our goals at the beginning of the season. The main reason though, was that it showed us we belonged. It proved to me, Bono (crew chief Kevin Manion) and the rest of the guys that we could compete at this level."

Truex went on to win at Dover International Speedway two weeks later, his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in a points paying event. The upswing continued, with Truex making the Chase and finishing 11th in points at the end of the year.

"Those two weeks in Charlotte were definitely a big deal for us as a race team," continued Truex. "We went to Dover knowing that we could be successful at this level. We won there and things just started to roll."

Winning the event at Dover automatically qualified Truex for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race, a non points -- paying event consisting of four 25 -- lap segments.

"Hopefully, this weekend will kick start our season for us again," continued Truex, who is currently 15th in points, but only 36 points out of 12th.

-credit: dei

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup