Truex Jr. Follows Solid Debut

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After taking the checkered flag for a career-best sixth-place finish in the Daytona 500, Martin Truex Jr. looks to keep things rolling for Michael Waltrip Racing as the Sprint Cup Series heads to Auto Club Speedway this weekend.

The driver of the No. 56 NAPA Toyota knows there's a big difference between racing at "The World Center of Racing" and racing at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway.

"I think California is a difficult track," he said. "It is very fast, yet it doesn't have a lot of banking. It is getting kind of worn out so it is a challenge to get the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota to stick good. It is hard to get the car to turn well, but still be able to get the power down off the corner. The key is just getting your car to turn well, but still be able to get the power down."

An important element of the weekend will be Friday's qualifying session, with a starting spot near the front of the field vital to coming home with a good finish.

"Qualifying is always important to me," Truex Jr. said. "At a track like the Auto Club Speedway, it is so big and fast. The field tends to get strung out so qualifying up front definitely makes your job easier. Usually if you are fast in qualifying, you can get it in the race also. It is definitely a good thing to qualifying up front there."

Truex Jr. has Sprint Cup Series experience at ACS which could be beneficial to his effort in Sunday's second race of the season. He will be starting in his ninth race in Fontana and his best start is fifth (Sept. 3, 2006, Oct. 11, 2009) and best finish is sixth (Sept. 2, 2007, Feb. 25, 2008). During his career, Truex has earned two top–10 and six top-15 finishes at the track with his average start 12.4 and his average finish is 19.4.

After kicking off the year with a top 10 last Sunday in the biggest race of the year, Truex Jr. hopes to keep that positive momentum going on Sunday.

"I am extremely proud and excited about coming out of Daytona with the results we had," he said. "I really wasn’t sure what to expect. From the first test, working together with (crew chief) Pat Tryson, I knew we were going to be good. He is a pleasure to work with. He really takes his job seriously, and yet, he likes to have fun.

"I think the guys on the NAPA team really look up to him because of his experience and knowledge. He is respected and it goes a long way with everyone. For me, I just try and do the best job I can. As far as the communication and getting along with Pat and all that other stuff that goes along with the relationship, it came really easy. Hopefully, we can continue on what we started and win some races."

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