MARTIN TRUEX JR. NASCAR BUSCH SERIES CHAMPION'S WEEK -- DAY 2
*Martin Truex Jr. meets Tampa Bay media; market is No. 2 among nation's top 10 for series
*Truex, NASCAR Busch Series Top 10 visit Orlando media on Thursday
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2005) -- It was an early beginning for 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Champion Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Chevrolet) during the first full day of his media activities during NASCAR Busch Series Champion's Week.
Truex's schedule actually began on Tuesday when he arrived in Tampa -- the nation's second-largest NASCAR Busch Series television market in 2005 -- to visit two of the Bay area's media outlets, including a live 11 p.m. sports program in advance of the start of today's full schedule.
Truex kicked off his day in Tampa with an appearance on one of the area's top morning television shows, then was interviewed in-studio at four of the Bay area's top radio outlets, including the nationally-syndicated FOX sports radio network show, Race Day on FOX, which reaches over 150 stations throughout the county.
Following his busy morning, Truex met with more of the Tampa Bay and national media at the Rock 'N Sports Bar and Grill, a popular restaurant in the historic Ybor City section of Tampa. Over 20 print, broadcast, radio and internet media were on hand to speak with Truex, who this season became the sixth driver in NASCAR Busch Series history to win consecutive championships.
"Tampa is one of the biggest markets for the NASCAR Busch Series, so it's always great to come to this city and visit with the media," he said during his morning show appearance.
"I'm living the dream. This is something I've always wanted to do," he said during a radio interview when asked about his two titles in the NASCAR Busch Series and his move in 2006 to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Truex will team with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the premier series next season; Earnhardt co-owns Truex's Chance 2 Motorsports team with his stepmother, Teresa, and the team also claimed its second consecutive owner's championship this year.
Truex shared some of his off-season plans as well. "I did some fishing after the Homestead race. I'll be going home (Mayetta, N.J.) for Christmas. Then I'll spend a week in Colorado," he said.
Truex departed for Orlando, the next -- and final stop -- on his Champion's Week tour. He will be joined by other members of the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Top 10 on Thursday for another round of media interviews in the morning before heading to Fantasia Gardens at Disney World for a media event in the afternoon.
The week culminates on Friday night with the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Awards Ceremony at the Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando.
NASCAR announces new television deal ... NASCAR announced Wednesday the completion of eight-year, comprehensive broadcast agreements. Under the new agreements, NASCAR races will be broadcast on a combination of networks that includes FOX, SPEED, Turner's TNT and ABC/ESPN beginning in 2007. Specific to the NASCAR Busch Series -- which produced a record average of 1.9 million households and 2.5 million viewers tuning in to each of the series' 35 events this past season -- all races will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2 starting with the season-opener at Daytona in February 2007. Truex gets company in Orlando ... Martin Truex Jr. will be joined by seven members of the NASCAR Busch Series Top 10 in Orlando for media activities beginning Thursday. Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet), who finished second to Truex in the championship chase, will be on hand as will Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge), David Green (No. 27 Kleenex Ford), the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series champion, Paul Menard (No. 11 Menards Chevrolet) and Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet). Carl Edwards (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford), the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year, is scheduled to join the group later in the day and Kenny Wallace (No. 22 AutoZone Ford) will arrive late Thursday night and will participate in a round of radio interviews on Friday. Following morning media visits, the group will head to Fantasia Gardens at Walt Disney World for a media event that includes miniature golf competition between the drivers and the media. The course is laid out more like a regulation golf course as opposed to the miniature golf courses that normally come to mind. Each driver will be paired up with a media member for a nine-hole game. Hamlin has prepared himself so far as to bring his own putter to the competition. The event takes place from 11:00 a.m. -- 2:30 p.m. Champion's dinner, hockey game, comedy show also on Thursday ... Following the day's media activities, the NASCAR Busch Series Top 10 have various events scheduled for the remainder of the evening on Thursday. Martin Truex Jr. and members of his Chance 2 Motorsports team will be the guests of NASCAR executives at the annual champion's dinner, this year held at Luma on Park in Winter Park. Meanwhile, Carl Edwards will depart for Tampa to attend the Tampa Bay Lightning -- St. Louis Blues hockey game. Edwards will have the distinction of announcing, "Let's play hockey," to the fans in attendance. The Lightning, the 2003 Stanley Cup champion, use that phrase to start their games similar to the three most famous words in motorsports -- "Drivers, start your engines" -- to start NASCAR races. Edwards will be wearing a Lightning jersey complete with his No. 60 on the back. In addition, there will be a comedy show at the Portofino Bay Hotel Thursday night for banquet attendees featuring Gary Gulman, a finalist on the 2004 NBC reality series, "Last Comic Standing." Gulman also was the comedy talent at last year's NASCAR Busch Series banquet and received rave reviews for his routine.
What: NASCAR Busch Series Awards Ceremony.
Where: Tuscan Ballroom, The Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando, Fla.
When: 7-10:30 p.m. (ET). Friday, Dec. 9.
TV: TNT, Midnight. (ET) Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Final NASCAR Busch Series Top 10: 1. Martin Truex Jr. 4,937. 2. Clint Bowyer 4,869. 3. Carl Edwards 4,601. 4. Reed Sorenson 4,453. 5. Denny Hamlin 4,143. 6. Paul Menard 4,101. 7. Kenny Wallace 4,068. 8. David Green 3,908. 9. Jason Keller 3,866. 10. Greg Biffle 3,865.
Raybestos Rookie of the Year: Carl Edwards.
Emcee: Allen Bestwick.
Special Guest: Benny Parsons.
Comedian: Richard Jeni.
Musical Entertainment: Lisa Marie Presley.