BUSCH: Talladega: Round ten preview

Two-time series champion Truex Jr. is the "new guy" this weekend DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 25, 2006) -- It's been a while since Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Shops Chevrolet) has been called a "newcomer" to the NASCAR Busch Series. But the ...

Two-time series champion Truex Jr. is the "new guy" this weekend

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 25, 2006) -- It's been a while since Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Shops Chevrolet) has been called a "newcomer" to the NASCAR Busch Series.

But the 2004-05 series champion carries that label to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, for the Aaron's 312.

Truex looks to make his 2006 series debut at a track where he's been a dominant force in his two previous starts -- he has posted wins over the last two years -- carrying on the Dale Earnhardt Inc. tradition at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

In addition to Truex's victories, Dale Earnhardt Jr., another two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion -- won the 2003 Aaron's 312 while Paul Menard (No. 11 Menard's Chevrolet) is the defending Busch Pole winner.

Truex, who began his career in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series (formerly Busch North Series), made the move from the NASCAR Busch Series to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup this season where he is in the running for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. He is 15th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings.

"It seems like it was 10 years ago, but it wasn't really that long ago," Truex said of his 84-race tenure in the NASCAR Busch Series that began with one race in 2001.

"It's been a little tougher than I expected, really," he said of his transition to NASCAR's premier series. "Obviously we didn't have the results as a company last year that we felt like we should have had and our NASCAR Busch Series team has moved up together, so all this is new for us.

"Luckily, I made [seven] starts [last year] where we ran both the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in the same weekend. It's a lot of driving, but when it comes to a track like Talladega that's fine with me.

"DEI has won the last three NASCAR Busch Series races and the Bass Pro team has won the last two. It would be great to get that third one, especially on Dale Earnhardt Day."

Truex and Menard will carry a special black paint scheme saluting seven-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt's induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Dale Earnhardt Day on April 29 as well as his accomplishments at Talladega.

"I can't imagine what the fans are going to do when they see these cars roll out at Talladega this weekend," Truex said.

-nascar

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