Truex To Make First Cup Start

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and Enterprise Rent-A-Car have joined forces to enter Martin Truex Jr. in the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race next weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway, the team announced Thursday.

The Sylvania 300 will be Truex Jr.'s first start in NASCAR's premier series. The current Busch Series point leader will drive DEI's No. 1 Enterprise Rent-A-Car Chevrolet at New Hampshire, where he is a Busch North Series winner.

Truex, competing in his first full season in the Busch Series, leads Kyle Busch by 95 points heading into Friday night's Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond International Raceway, with nine races remaining this season.

"It's still sinking in that I'm running my first Cup race," Truex Jr. said. "Enterprise Rent-A-Car and DEI have made strong efforts to give me this opportunity. Everyone at DEI rents cars from Enterprise on the weekends we race, so I'm looking forward to representing them on the track in New Hampshire."

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is also making its debut as a primary sponsor in Nextel Cup racing.

"We saw this as an opportunity to strengthen our great relationship with DEI and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.," said Pete Wyatt, director of sponsorship marketing for Enterprise. "NASCAR fans are extremely supportive of our relationship with DEI and wanted to support them. In addition, we think it is fitting that the number one rental car company is sponsoring DEI's number one car and Truex Jr.'s first Cup start."

Truex already has Cup experience at New Hampshire, having relieved Earnhardt Jr. last July, when injuries kept Earnhardt from finishing the event. Truex handled most of the driving duties that weekend, practicing, qualifying and climbing in the DEI Chevrolet on lap 61 to complete the 300-lap race. Truex has complied four NASCAR Busch Series victories, six Bud Pole Awards, 12 top-5 and 18 top-10 finishes in the 2004 Busch Series.

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