SCR: How about the Talladega win with Junior on your bumper?
TRUEX: Talladega was definitely a shocker. Probably not just tome but to everybody who saw it or watched it or anybody on the team oranything. Everybody knows we had a good car. DEI and Junior have wonfive races with the Chance 2 car at the plate tracks. To keep thatstreak alive with me driving really meant a lot to me. It kind ofshocked me. I'm sitting there with about 20-something to go and leading.I'm like, 'Man, I don't think I want to be leading right now.' You movearound so much and we had run everywhere from 20th to leading that day.Depending on what line you picked or what move you made, it seemed toaffect where you were running. We got a few cautions there at the endthat helped us a little bit. Plus Junior got in behind me pushing mealong and that helped a bunch.
SCR: Let's rewind a little. Do you remember your first win inkarts or at the local level?
TRUEX: Actually the first time I ever raced a go-kart, I think Iwon my heat race the first day and finished second or third in the race.It wasn't long after that that I won my first one; I was probably two orthree races into it.
SCR: You were 11 years old?
SCR: You alluded to this a little already, but what does it meanfor you to strap into a Busch car for DEI [and Chance2]?
TRUEX: It's huge. I mean, it's what every driver works for. Everyyoung guy who has never wanted to do anything but race, that's what theylook for--an opportunity to drive equipment that you know can win andknow you can go out there and kick everybody's butt. To me, it means alot to be associated with the Earnhardt family and all the thingsthey've done. To drive for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is the biggest namein the sport right now, and to be able to become friends with him and todrive for him and do a good job, that means a lot to me.
SCR: And you've won at tracks that are as different as theypossibly can be, Bristol and Talladega. Obviously you're comfortable atthis level.
TRUEX: I am. Surprisingly, once I got with this team last year,the first time we tested, everything seemed to go good together. I knewsome of the guys working on the team before I ever raced for them. A lotof us came from the same background and had the same attitude, andeverything goes together. We're a true team and we have a lot of fundoing it. We don't worry about little things and we don't have guys onthe team fighting with each other or not liking each other. Everybodylikes each other and we have fun and Bono [Kevin Manion, crew chief]does an incredible job giving me what I need. We've always worked realwell together. That's a big part of it, I think.
SCR: How involved is Teresa Earnhardt in your deal? Do you talkto her often?
TRUEX: I don't get to see her very often. I don't think anybodydoes, but she knows what's going on and she is kind of like in a darkroom there where she can see everybody but you can't see her. She knowseverything that's going on and has a say in everything, but you don'tget to talk to her very often it seems.
SCR: Did you follow NASCAR closely growing up? Say, when you were11, for example, did you know of Dale Earnhardt's place in the sport?
TRUEX: Yeah, I was always watching the races. I didn't know thebehind the scenes stuff that I know now, of course, but I always watchedthe races. I've always loved to sit down on Sundays and watch the race.That's all we would do, is sit there and watch the race all day.
SCR: Who was your favorite Winston Cup driver when you weregrowing up?
TRUEX: Dale Earnhardt.
TRUEX: Yeah. Crazy, isn't it?
SCR: Things sometimes have a way of working out, it seems.
TRUEX: I know it.