MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
What is your outlook for the Showdown? "Looking forward to the weekend. This is always a really fun race. It's nice to come to the race track every once in awhile and not have to worry about points. Looking forward to tomorrow night with the NAPA Toyota -- we had a good car there in practice. We've won the Showdown twice and hopefully we can do the same thing again tomorrow night so we can get in the All-Star race and have some fun."
Can you feel a difference in the aero package? "To be honest with you, I didn't feel a big difference from what we've been racing. Obviously, we haven't been here since last year. I felt like the track was a little bit different than it was here last year -- getting a little rougher and I think it's lost a little bit of grip too. With those little differences out there, it's hard to compare. Our cars are so much different than they were here a year ago as far as our stuff at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) so it's really hard to compare apples to apples. To be honest, I didn't really feel a big difference from what we've been feeling the rest of the season."
How do you feel about your chances tomorrow night? "I like my chances a lot. We've been fast on the big tracks. We've been close to getting to victory lane here a few races already this season. Feel like we really should be in this thing tomorrow night already, but we just haven't been able to close the deal yet. Great run last week, great run at Kansas a few weeks ago and our car was really good today in practice. It has a lot of speed in it and is driving pretty good -- just looking forward to tomorrow night. Based on what we've seen, we felt like we had about the best car in practice there and it's good on longer runs. We'll just have to wait and see what happens -- anything can happen in this deal tomorrow night. It's a shootout-type race and we'll just have to hopefully qualify good, stay up front, keep our nose clean and just have to wait and see what happens -- looking forward to a good night."
What is your plan for restarts in the race? "You hope to be on the front row and be in control of it -- that's your best opportunity to make it happen and get a good jump on the guy. Charlotte typically is a place where it's not a place where you have a lot of trouble spinning your tires. Darlington is -- Dover is a place you have trouble -- places like Atlanta that are old and worn out. Especially if you stay out on tires at some point -- it is very, very difficult to get up to speed. Charlotte doesn't seem to be that difficult, but the good thing about this place is that you can run two and three-wide through turn one and get a little bit of a hole after the start-finish line and you can make some passes. It will definitely be exciting. The restarts here are always really good and we just need to be good tomorrow night."
Are you able to feel the extra 100 miles in the Coca-Cola 600? "You can definitely tell. I can remember nights where my car was off in the 600 and they would say, 'You're coming to halfway or you're 10 laps to halfway.' I remember thinking, 'There is no way this race is only half over, it feels like we've been out here forever.' It definitely feels like a longer race. Obviously, the worse your car is, the longer it feels -- the better it is, the shorter it feels. Regardless of what's going on, it definitely feels like a longer race even though it's only 100 miles."