CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. didn’t lead the lap he wanted to lead in Monday night’s Daytona 500. But, he led the second most important lap.
Truex collected the $200,000 “Daytona 500 Mid-Race Leader Award” for leading at the completion of the 100th lap in the 200-lap race at Daytona. The award combined with his 11th-place purse money made Monday’s payday of $535,052 the richest in Truex’s 226-race NASCAR Sprint Cup career.
Truex and the No. 56 team now travel to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday’s race. The No. 56 will sport a special black paint scheme. It launches NAPA’s $19.99 oil change special and it’s only $12.99 after a mail-in $7 rebate.
TRUEX ON DAYTONA BONUS: “That was pretty cool and a heck of a way to start the season. I have to say thanks to Denny Hamlin for pushing me to the lead. I think it was a great thing the track added to the race. We sure knew what was on the line. We were pretty pumped up about getting it.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR. ON RETURNING TO PHOENIX: “This track is one of my favorites. Last race, we raced in the top 10 all day until we got put down a lap when the caution came out when we were in the pits. I am anxious to get back out there with our new chassis. I think we have a car that can win this race. Chad has a good idea of what our NAPA Toyota needs for me to run well. Our focus is on Turns 3 and 4, but we also need a strong throttle off of Turn 2 so I can carry the momentum into the final corners.”
TRUEX ON RUNNING THE NAPA FILTERS TOYOTA: “Our Phoenix car has been on the shop floor for several weeks now. It looks awesome. I’ve always loved driving a black car as it reminds me of my hero, Dale Earnhardt.”
CREW CHIEF CHAD JOHNSTON ON NAPA TEAM’S PROGRESS: “I believe this race is a good indication on the strength of this team and our ability to compete against the usual powerhouses in NASCAR over the long haul. We’ve come a long way. I think it helps that Martin and I have similar personalities. Martin also realizes now that this entire team is in this together and our successes or failures do not fall squarely on his shoulders.”