CORNELIUS, N.C. — Martin Truex Jr. and the NAPA Racing team are in Florida for five days of testing at two tracks as planning continues for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Truex and new Michael Waltrip Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Mark Martin begin testing at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway today and tomorrow. It’s the first time the drivers will work together focusing on MWR’s short-track program. The team then moves to the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway for NASCAR’s Preseason Thunder that includes testing Wednesday through Saturday in preparation for the Feb. 26 Daytona 500.
Martin Truex Jr. Back On Track: “I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. Over the winter we have been working on some new things and now it’s time to test them out and see how it goes. It’s also the first time I get to work with Clint and Mark. My NAPA team hasn’t changed, but we’ve got a lot of new guys at MWR especially on the 15 team so testing down here is a good way to show everyone how we all work together and get communication going in the right direction. The track time is going to be good for all of us here at Michael Waltrip Racing.”
Focus On New Smyrna: “This will be the first time we are running the new generation of MWR chassis at a short track. There are a lot of things Chad (Johnston—crew chief) and I want to run through to see if our car’s handling remains the same or if it wants to do different things. It was a great car for us on the bigger tracks at the end of last season and it will be interesting for us to see how it works on a short track.”
On Daytona Test: “With the rule changes especially with the grill opening, we have a lot of things we want to test and try to get prepared to win the Daytona 500. It’s also important for me and Clint to get time together and draft. I believe we are going to have to switch a lot in the draft with the rule change, so we really need to be on the same page rather quickly and understand how each other thinks. It’s a good time to get a feel for how he does things and the same for him as to how I do things.”
Feelings About EFI: “So far everything has been good. We had an EFI test in Daytona on Nov. 15. We didn’t have any issues with it and every time we have run with it, there does not seem to be whole lot of difference between it and a carburetor. I don’t foresee any crazy issues and I appreciate all the hard work that everyone has put into it to make a smooth transition.”