Martin Truex Jr. has proven to be a valuable find for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Chance 2
Name: Martin Lee Truex Jr.
Date of birth: June 29, 1980
Birthplace: Toms River, New Jersey
Marital status: Single
Residence: Mooresville, North Carolina
Racing involvement: Began racing go-karts at age 11 and moved to Modifieds in 1998, running at famed Wall Speedway in New Jersey. Moved to the Busch North Series in 2000. Drove eight NASCAR Busch Series events for family-owned team, 2001-2003. Driver of No. 8 Chevrolet in NASCAR Busch Series for Chance 2, a team co-owned by Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. was toiling in racing's minor leagues when another racing junior tabbed him to drive for Chance 2, a fledgling Busch Series team. The New Jersey native has responded quite well, winning four of the first dozen Busch races this season. Truex Jr. sat down with Stock Car Racing at California Speedway and discussed his fast ride to racing glory.
SCR: Tell us how you became involved with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chance 2. How did that come about?
Truex: Well, it's all due to [DEI Director of Motorsports] Richie Gilmore, really. The best man in his wedding was on the pit crew of my Busch North team. Rich is from New Hampshire and so is this other guy who was helping me, Jerry Calef. He had been watching and they were starting the Busch team and they were looking for some young guy to get in there and move up in the organization as driver, and Richie mentioned me. There really wasn't too much question about it on Junior's side. He had a lot of faith in Richie's word, and they never tested the drivers or anything. The next thing I knew it was my job, and I didn't have to try to do anything for it.
SCR: How much input does Junior have into your deal as far as driving tips, setups, that sort of thing?
Thirteen years after receiving his first go-kart, Truex Jr. is one of the top young driver
Truex: Actually, not that much, unless I ask. We don't talk much about racing when we're not at the track. We just hang out and have fun and do things to keep our mind off it, it seems. He just kind of lets me do my own thing now.
SCR: So, what do you talk about when you hang out, girls?
Truex: Oh yeah, I love that. Whatever's fun, you know, girls and what we want to do. But we race a lot on the computer together. Just hang out and chill out.
SCR: Yeah, I've heard about the racing on the computer you guys do; how does that go?
Truex: Good, we spend a lot of time on there; obviously, I think it helps both of us a lot on the racetrack.
SCR: Who wins?
Truex: Everybody asks that. I always tell them the truth-I beat him most of the time.
SCR: By most, do you mean about 75 percent of the time.
Truex: Yeah. Unless I crash or something.
SCR: Now, if we ask him, is he going to say he wins 75 percent of the time?
Truex: No, he'll tell you I beat him most of the time.