CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 56 NAPA Filters Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. predicts this weekend’s race at Phoenix International Raceway will serve as the best preview of what race fans can expect from NASCAR’s new Gen-6 car in 2013. Truex raced as high as second and appeared ready to battle for victory in the Daytona 500 before engine issues relegated him to an 24th-place finish. This weekend’s race on a mile oval where downforce and handling are more important will be the real test of which teams and drivers will thrive with the new cars.
TRUEX ON PHOENIX & GEN-6: “The fastest car will be up front. Phoenix is a great racetrack. It’s put on some great racing since they repaved it. There are a lot of questions that have gone unanswered when it comes to the flatter, shorter tracks with the new Gen-6 car. It’s going to be an interesting weekend and I think we are going to see a lot of things that come up that we didn’t expect. I think it will be interesting to see what teams have a real handle on this car. Who did the best homework in the off season? That’s what I am really excited about. I want to go there and see what Michael Waltrip Racing has. I know that we have had strong cars at Phoenix in the past. Last year we were really strong. Now it’s time to see what we really have. It should be really fun.
“The track rates very high on my scale. I’ve had a lot of strong runs there in the past. In the fall, we qualified second. We had a really fast car. I believe we had the best car in race trim all weekend long. Unfortunately we had a mechanical failure during the second lap of the race so we will never know what could have been. So now, I am looking forward to going back and taking advantage of another fast NAPA Toyota. Chad has some great ideas as to what he wants to do and what he expects to happen with this new car.”
OIL CHANGE SPECIAL: Truex will help NAPA launch its March oil change special by piloting the No. 56 NAPA Filters Toyota in Sunday’s race. It’s just $20.99 at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS stores. Fans can get an instant savings of $3 if they mention hearing NAPA’s oil change radio ad. For details visit, napaonline.com. “I am really looking forward to kicking off NAPA’s March promotion. We got the NAPA Filters guys coming to the track to join us. They are a great bunch to work with so I hope we can get a lot of NASCAR fans to stop in at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS stores and take advantage of the savings.”
INSIDER PROGRAM: Michael Waltrip Racing launched its Insider Program last week that offers all race fans sponsor discounts, specials on merchandise, exclusive pictures and video content plus fan giveaways throughout the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Fans can access the MWR Insider Program through the CardStar application available on most smartphones. MWR will work on behalf of the fans to expand the offerings beyond just its current sponsor line-up, aggregating industry-wide deals and discounts. Fans can text MWR to 42828 get card for FREE. Offers include 20% off Subway Fresh Fit 500 tickets, free headset with rental of a FanVision unit ($19.99 value) and 25% off Toyota Racing merchandise at www.ToyotaRacing.com.
NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE: On Thursday, Truex will honor 20 NAPA AutoCare Centers who gave back to their Phoenix community. Each AutoCare Center did repairs up to $500 for a family in need. The group performed more than $10,000 in repairs at no charge.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. FOUNDATION (MTJF): Founded in 2007, MTJF has raised more than $1.5 million for community programs. Key initiatives include the MTJF Backpack Program in Iredell Co., N.C. with the Second Harvest Food Bank, the special needs fund at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C., the MTJF Relief Assistance Fund to help families affected by Hurricane Sandy and the construction of the Martin Truex Jr. Pediatric Care Center at Southern Ocean Medical Center in N.J. Visit: www.martintruexjrfoundation.org.