NAVY EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH JR MOTORSPORTS FOR 2007; TRUEX SALVAGES 16TH-PLACE FINISH AT CHICAGOLAND JOLIET, Ill. (July 10, 2006) -- JR Motorsports and the U.S. Navy announced the extension of their partnership on Saturday afternoon ...
NAVY EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH JR MOTORSPORTS FOR 2007; TRUEX SALVAGES 16TH-PLACE FINISH AT CHICAGOLAND
JOLIET, Ill. (July 10, 2006) -- JR Motorsports and the U.S. Navy announced the extension of their partnership on Saturday afternoon before the running of the NASCAR Busch Series USG Durock 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. The Dale Earnhardt Jr.-owned team will field the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS in the Busch Series through the 2007 season.
"This is my first major primary sponsorship renewal as a team owner," Earnhardt Jr. said. "One of the goals I had going into this deal was to establish long-term relationships with sponsors and this is the first step in that direction.
"As a new team we've faced some struggles, but the Navy has stood behind us and supported us along the way and that says a lot about their commitment to our success. We've just started to shed light on what we can do as a team. We plan to take the Navy Chevrolet to Victory Lane."
After the announcement, the team's attention quickly turned back to the USG Durock 300.
The No. 88 Navy Chevrolet started the race from the 10th position after Martin Truex Jr. posted a lap of 30.873 seconds, 174.910 mph in qualifying. Truex was filling in for the second week in a row for the team's injured driver Mark McFarland.
What started out as a promising afternoon for the team, hit a snag when the No. 88 was collected in a crash on the first lap of the race. The Navy Chevrolet sustained damage to the left front and the team pitted twice to fix as much of the damage as possible while remaining on the lead lap.
Despite the damage, Truex restarted the race on Lap 5 in 39th place and had moved his way up to 30th by Lap 14.
The team continued to pit under caution to repair the damage to the left front, but fell one-lap down to the leaders during a long green-flag run. The Navy team refused to give up, and continued to pick up positions on both the track and pit road. Truex worked his way up to be the first car one-lap down and was granted the Lucky Dog pass when the caution flag waved on Lap 169.
Once he got back on the lead lap, Truex continued to work his way up through the field and finished the race in 16th place.
"It was exciting to see our Navy race team pull together with the same sense of dedication and teamwork our brave sailors and their families exhibit every day around the world," said Admiral Michael Mullen, the U.S. Navy's Chief of Naval Operations. "We are excited to continue our partnership with JR Motorsports and look forward to celebrating the Navy and JR Motorsports's first win in NASCAR competition."
"I wish we'd had another set of tires there at the end," Truex said. "The car was pretty wicked after that crash, but the guys kept working on it and got it a lot better toward the end. We were moving up through the field, but it just got too tight there at the end."
"Everybody on the Navy team did a good job today," said Crew Chief Wes Ward. "Nobody gave up. They rose to the challenge and we had a good points day."
The 16th-place finish moved the No. 88 Navy Team up to 25th in the owners' point standings.