Darlington Raceway 500
CORNELIUS, N.C. — Darlington Raceway is the “Track Too Tough to Tame,” but it’s No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr.’s favorite on the Sprint Cup circuit. Saturday night’s race on the egg-shaped oval couldn’t come at a better time as the Michael Waltrip Racing team alters its pit crew lineup in a bid to take advantage of the speed shown in 2011.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. ON RICHMOND: “We had a very good car at Richmond. It was the best car I’ve ever had there. The last five weeks have been very tough on this NAPA AUTO PARTS team. We’ve run well and have very little to show for it. But in Richmond, it was hard not to say anything when our night ended the way it did. NASCAR is an emotional sport. We go from taking the lead and me screaming, “Hell yea!” on the radio to having a loose wheel and going several laps down. I got pretty upset. We pour our entire lives into NASCAR and it is not an easy sport. It’s one of the toughest racing series in the world. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on every single individual that makes up a race team. If a job is not getting done, then a change needs to be made. That holds true for every member including myself. I want to win more than anything in this world and that’s why I got very upset. I understand changes are going to be made within our pit crew heading into Darlington. I appreciate the fact that MWR addressed the issue and we’re moving on.”
“Darlington is one of my favorite tracks. Since it’s been repaved, it seems to fit my driving style even more. I’ve been in the top-five and led a bunch of laps in every single race since the repave. I can’t say enough about the NAPA team. They are doing an awesome job preparing fast cars. We just need to go to Darlington and capitalize on our speed.”
STEVE HALLAM – MWR’s EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF COMPETITION – ON NO. 56 CREW CHANGES: “We’ve seen significant improvement in the overall performance of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in 2011. With our impressive speed comes the added pressure of the entire team to perform. As we know, the No. 56 has experienced several challenges on pit road and we feel the need to intervene. Pit crews are professional sportsmen and as such, they understand that sometimes changes need to be made. The team will have new tire carriers and changers beginning at Darlington this weekend. Two of those four athletes we’ve added come from our Nationwide program and the other two from our back-up squad. Our organization is fortunate to have the flexibility and depth of experienced crew members to make adjustments from time to time that benefit everyone involved.”