CORNELIUS, N.C. -- Michael Waltrip Racing development driver Ryan Truex will pilot the No. 00 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the K&N Pro Series East race Friday night at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H. Truex is the East Series' defending champion and...
CORNELIUS, N.C. -- Michael Waltrip Racing development driver Ryan Truex will pilot the No. 00 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the K&N Pro Series East race Friday night at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H. Truex is the East Series' defending champion and leads Darrell Wallace Jr. by 43 points with four races remaining in the 2010 championship. The 18-year-old made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut July 17 at Gateway International Raceway where an accident with 22 laps remaining ended a top-10 run. The Mayetta N.J. native said experience gained in the East Series prepared him well for his race at Gateway, but on transitioning back to the East Series his focus is on clinching a second consecutive championship.
Truex on racing at Lee USA Speedway: "Lee is a shorter track, not much grip. I've never been there, but (No. 00 crew chief) Mike Greci has been there, my brother and dad have both been there so I've heard about it. They say the surface of the track is a lot like Greenville there's not much grip so the biggest thing is getting your car to drive off of the corners. I think we'll be able to do that. We're good at Greenville and we've had a good short track program this year so far, so I'm confident we can go there and run pretty good. The biggest thing is just going there, learning the track and figuring out what we need to do to go fast."
Truex on how the East Series has helped his transition to Nationwide: "The K&N Pro Series East is probably the best place to start before jumping into the Nationwide Series just because the cars are so similar. The series is good because we go to a lot of bigger tracks like Loudon, Iowa and Dover to get experience. It's a better place to step up than anywhere else just because of that and the way the cars drive. It has definitely made my transition easier being in the East Series for two years. Even with my partial Nationwide schedule, I'm still definitely looking forward to running the rest of the East Series this year too."
Truex on added pressure upon returning to the East Series from the Nationwide Series: "I don't feel like there is as much pressure going back from the Nationwide to the East Series. I feel like it will actually help me because I've raced with a higher level of competition. Now when I go to the East Series I'll have more confidence going into the race. Hopefully that's how it is, maybe we can go in there and win some more races and keep doing good in points. We've had great cars all year and I'm pretty confident that we can have good cars for the rest of the year and hopefully we can get another championship."
Truex on NASCAR's 2010 Most Popular Driver competition: "It would be nice to be voted Most Popular Driver. We didn't get it last year, but I've done a lot more this year to connect with fans. Hopefully I have more people who have gotten to know me this year that will go out and vote for me. It would be nice to know that I have a lot of fans out there who support my career, but the biggest thing for me is to win the championship."