Martin Truex Jr. has proven...
Martin Truex Jr. has proven to be a valuable find for Dale Earnhardt Jr.and the Chance 2 team.
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. Howdid that come about?
TRUEX: Well, it's all due to [DEI Director of Motorsports] RichieGilmore, really. The best man in his wedding was on the pit crew of myBusch North team. Rich is from New Hampshire and so is this other guythat was helping me, Jerry. He had been watching and they were startingthe Busch team and they were looking for some young guy to get in thereand have somebody that could move up in the organization as driver, andRichie mentioned me. There really wasn't too much question about it onJunior's side. He had a lot of faith in Richie's word and they nevertested the drivers or anything. The next thing I knew it was my job, andI didn't have to try to do anything for it.
SCR: So obviously from that you and Junior hit it off right offthe bat?
TRUEX: Yeah, when we talked the first time it was the fall raceat Richmond in 2002. We had taken my dad's car there to test and Juniorwas there testing his Chance2 car for the first race they were going torun. Richie introduced me and we got to talking and sat there shootingbull and seemed to get along pretty good.
SCR: How much input does Junior have into your deal as far asdriving tips, setups, that sort of thing?
TRUEX: Actually, not that much, unless I ask. We don't talk muchabout racing when we're not at the track. We just hang out and have funand do things to keep our mind off it, it seems. He just kind of lets medo my own thing now.
SCR: So, what do you talk about, girls?
TRUEX: Oh yeah, I love that. Whatever's fun, you know girls andwhat we want to do. But we race a lot on the computer together. Justhang out and chill out.
SCR: Yeah, I've heard about the racing on the computer you guysdo; how does that go?
TRUEX: Good, we spend a lot of time on there; obviously I thinkit helps both of us a lot on the race track.
Thirteen years after receiving...
Thirteen years after receiving his first go-kart, Truex Jr. is one ofthe top young drivers in the sport.
TRUEX: Everybody asks that. I always tell them the truth--I beathim most of the time.
SCR: By most, do you mean like 75 percent of the time.
TRUEX: Unless I crash or something.
SCR: Now if we ask him, is he going to say he wins 75 percent ofthe time?
TRUEX: No, he'll tell you I beat him most of the time.
SCR: You two seem like you have a lot in common. Obviously yousaid you hit it off real well, and you both have basically the samepersonality, the same lack of arrogance and both seem to be verypersonable. Do you have a lot in common besides the obvious--that youboth race for a living?
TRUEX: Sure, yeah, everything. We like to do all the same stuffit seems like. He doesn't like to fish too much, but I love to fish.That's about the only thing we don't [have in common]. But we just gotus a bass boat, so I'm going to take it. It's half his and half mine,but he'll never use it, so it'll be all mine.