RYAN TRUEX, No.00 Pastrana Waltrip Racing Toyota Camry, Pastrana Waltrip Racing
How important was it to start your career at such a young age? "It's been a lot of hard work getting here. I think I've just been able to excel quicker having a brother that's been through all this and knows what it takes to get through all this. I've been able to get here quicker obviously because of my last name -- it's a helped a little bit. I've just been persevering. I went out every weekend and tried to my best and do everything I can to get here, and now I'm here and trying to make the best of it."
What are the positives and negatives to having a well-known last name? "I've got big shoes to fill in the Nationwide Series. My brother (Martin) came in and won two championships back-to-back and won a lot of races. I definitely have something to live up to and I think I can do it with this team. We've got a bunch of great people behind us, great cars, great equipment, and great everything -- it's just up to me to go out there and run my best, do the best I can and learn as quick as I can. That's the biggest thing I've had to deal with in every other series I've been in -- is go out and learn fast and deal with it, and be competitive as quick as possible. I had the seven races last year to get acclimated with Jerry Baxter (crew chief) and the whole 99 crew and everyone and some of these race tracks and some of these race cars. I think we are ready to go into 2011 strong."
How often to you talk with your brother about the lifestyle of being a race car driver? "We try not to talk about that too much. The biggest thing we talk about is waking up early because we both don't like it at all. That's the only thing I've ever talked to him about. He just helps me with anything I ask him. It doesn't matter what it is. Like I said, he's been through all of it and knows what it takes to get here. He knows what it takes to go out and win in the Nationwide Series and to make it to the Cup Series. I've been leaning on him a lot these last few years and he's been there for me every step of the way."
How is Michael Waltrip as a boss? "He's cool. I like having him as a boss. He's really into it -- he really is passionate about the sport and everything. It's good to have an owner who is really into it like that and around as much as him, and cares as much as he does about his teams and his cars and everything. I like that. I like having him as the owner."
Have you spent any time with Travis Pastrana? "We tested a few times. He's a really cool guy. You wouldn't even know who he was if you just hung out with him. He's really down to earth and fun to hang out with. He wants to come here and succeed and do it the right way and I think he's showing that so far."
How much did you know about Travis Pastrana before meeting him? "I grew up watching him and I've always a big fan of him. When I found out he would be racing with us I was pretty excited and I got to meet him and we tested a few times together. Like I said, he's just really cool to hang out with. He's a really down to earth guy. You wouldn't even know who he was if you just sat there and hung out with him. He's really humble about this and he just wants to come in the sport and progress the right way and do everything the right way and be successful at it."
What attracted you to follow Travis Pastrana when you were younger? "Just the crazy stuff he did, pretty much. I used to watch the `X Games' all the time and see him on there. He was doing `best trick' and everything and always winning gold medals in everything. That's somebody you can look up that goes out and tries to be the best at everything. It's no exception with this NASCAR deal. He wants to come here and be the best he can be."
-source: toyota motorsports