BNS: Former series driver grabs Busch Daytona pole

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 13, 2004) - Martin Truex Jr. is making the most of his move to full-time competition on the NASCAR Busch Series. Truex will start on the pole position for Saturday's Hershey's Kisses 300 at Daytona International ...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 13, 2004) - Martin Truex Jr. is making the most of his move to full-time competition on the NASCAR Busch Series.

Truex will start on the pole position for Saturday's Hershey's Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway, after he posted a fast qualifying time of 49.868 seconds (181.138 mph) on Friday. Winning the Bud Pole Award at Daytona - in a car owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. - is just the latest in a growing list of achievements for this rising NASCAR star, who advanced to the Busch Series after five winning years in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition.

"Everybody dreams of coming to race at Daytona," Truex said. "It's the biggest race of the year. Growing up as a kid, you always watched the Daytona 500 and everybody wants to get here and race, so of course I wanted to go superspeedway racing as soon as I could."

Being the fastest qualifier is certainly nothing new for Truex, who won the season-long Bud Pole qualifying award in the Busch North Series twice (2002- 03). His knack for turning a fast lap helped him win the pole under windy and overcast conditions on Daytona's 2.5-mile track.

"There was a lot of wind during my run," Truex said. "Regardless of how everything turned out, I'm just so happy to be involved with Chance 2 Motorsports and Bass Pro Shops and everybody involved. We've got probably the best team out here and a lot of people know that. I'm just glad to be here driving for them."

Truex said he's happy to learn from the experience of Earnhardt Jr., who will start eighth in the Hershey's Kisses 300.

"No doubt he's still going to be the favorite," Truex said of Earnhardt Jr. "Hopefully I can lead him around for a while but if he gets to me and gets by me - believe me, I'll be the first one to grab on to his rear bumper and just follow him the rest of the day. He's the master here (at Daytona)."

Truex will lead the 43-car field to the green flag at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, marking the start of the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season.

-nascar-

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