Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Toyota drivers talk New Hampshire

MARTIN TRUEX JR. (No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry): Driver Martin Truex Jr. hopes to make it a Michael Waltrip Racing sweep this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. MWR teammate Brian Vickers won the July 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on the Magic Mile.

A Truex has crossed the finish line first five times at NHMS in NASCAR competition. Martin won the 2000 and 2003 K&N Pro Series East races and the 2005 Nationwide Series race. Martin Sr. won the 1994 East race and younger brother Ryan repeated that feat in 2010.

TRUEX ON LAST NINE RACES: “We’ve overcome a lot during our season and it was quite an accomplishment to compete for a Chase spot. Now that we are not in it, it doesn’t mean our season is over. We’ve just switched gears and simply changed how we are approaching these last nine races. We are no longer points racing. From here on out, we are going to get prepared for next year. We are going to try and figure out the tracks that we’ve struggled with this year which includes this weekend’s race at New Hampshire. Ultimately we are going to go out and try to win races. We can gamble more because points from here on out really don’t matter much. We are going to take more chances. We can gamble more on fuel mileage and things like that. I think we can also expect this No. 56 to do some experimenting and do some testing out on the track to prepare for next year. It’s important for us now to use this time to figure some things out that maybe we have put off because we were worried about points and racing conservatively. One thing is for sure, it’s all about continuing to do our best. We always have and always will. Hopefully we can end the season strong and have some things to be excited about heading into 2014.”

TRUEX ON NEW HAMPSHIRE: “This weekend we’ve got New Hampshire and then Dover. Both tracks I consider to be home tracks. These next two weeks are going to be big for us. For some reason, New Hampshire has been tough on the NAPA team. We definitely need to figure some things out. It certainly hasn’t been because of a lack of effort. Chad has tried everything he can think of so we are going to take a bit of a different approach to it this weekend. It sure would be nice for it all to work out and pay off with a win. It would be a huge shot in the arm for the entire Michael Waltrip Racing organization. I know it would mean a lot for my 56 team.”

CLINT BOWYER (No.  No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry): Clint Bowyer plans to bring home more than just the trophy from New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. Bowyer’s Michael Waltrip Racing team races at NHMS on Sunday but it marks his second trip to the “Granite State” in two weeks.

Bowyer visited the Swenson Granite Works in Concord on Sept. 5 to man a crane that lifted a 7,000 pound slab of granite etched with his he 5-hour car’s likeness.

The track planned to donate the rock to Speedway Children's Charities. But Bowyer said he’d make a donation to the charity if he could put it in front of the Bowyer Community Building in his hometown of Emporia, Kan. The granite will be on display outside the infield tunnel across from the fan zone this weekend before making a trip to its permanent home in Kansas.

Bowyer ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series standings with 2035 points, with the same number of points as Ryan Newman. Bowyer trails point leader Matt Kenseth by 28 points with nine races remaining in the Sprint Cup season.

BOWYER ON NEW HAMPSHIRE: “If there is a track on the schedule that I feel we could make up some ground in the Chase - New Hampshire is that track. I’ve won at New Hampshire twice and I love everything about it. The flat short tracks seem to fit my driving style the best and I have had a lot of success there - so we are pretty confident going in. We could use a big week to get back on the right track.”

BOWYER ON A VISIT TO THE SWENSON GRANITE WORKS: “It was such a great trip over to the Swenson Granite Works. That place is amazing and I’m glad they let us come over for a tour. The granite quarry has been in operation since the 1800s and it’s about a 200 ft. straight drop down from where we were standing to the bottom of the quarry. They even let me operate the crane to pick up a piece of granite. They had the piece engraved with the No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota on it. I thought it was so awesome that I just had to have it for our community building in Kansas. I’ll have some friends pick it up for me after the race this weekend. It’s going to take a really big truck.”

No comments: