CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. understands the importance of this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His team, led by crew chief Chad Johnston, is tied for fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings. Every point is crucial when contending for the NAPA team’s first berth into the Chase.
Truex’s Toyota will sport a red, white and blue paint scheme this weekend to kick off NASCAR Unites - a six-week patriotic initiative uniting the NASCAR industry and fans to celebrate America and support U.S. military families.
Martin Truex Jr. on Coca-Cola 600: “We had a solid NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the Sprint Showdown. We simply got beat on tires. The first half of the event went off without a hitch. We were right where we wanted to be. Some guys chose to pit during the competition caution and we stayed out. We got beat by the two guys who took tires. In the past, everyone stayed out in favor of track position. This time, a different strategy was played out and we saw what happened. The track has changed quite a bit since last year. For me, it was unexpected. The track is starting to get a lot of bumps in it and the grip is going away. The tires fell off more than we anticipated so it was nice to have a practice race so to speak. When you only do five or six laps in regular practice, you don’t really see what happens to the tire wear. It was good to see. Now, we are going to get tires whenever we can. Plus, we practice during the day and race at night. Charlotte changes a ton so the Coca-Cola 600 is going to be a real challenge.”
Truex on the Paint Scheme: “Man, does our NAPA Toyota look sharp for this race. It’s red, white and blue. It’s our way of saying thanks to all the men and women who have fought for our country. It’s a neat looking car and I can’t wait to take it out on the track. I am so proud to drive that car. The stars reflect so it will really stand out under the Charlotte lights and especially if I am out front like I am expecting. I have only driven a red, white and blue car one other time and it was special. I really do look forward to this weekend.”