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Truex Scores Eighth-Place Finish For Navy Team
Jul 2, 2006 - updated Jul 2nd, 2006 2:11pm
Web posted by Annette Randall

Daytona Beach, Fla. --

(July 2, 2006)

Filling in for the JR Motorsports’s regular driver Mark McFarland who was injured in an accident at Milwaukee, Martin Truex Jr. brought the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS home to an eighth-place finish on Friday night in the NASCAR Busch Series Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Truex qualified the No. 88 in 25th position for the race with a lap of 49.832 seconds, 180.607 mph. He quickly started moving toward the front at the drop of the green flag and was up to 17th by Lap 3, despite the car’s tight-handling condition.

“It’s really tight in the center and off,” Truex radioed to the team on Lap 6. “This car will run if you help me out with the handling.”

When he was told of the line Dale Earnhardt Jr., his Nextel Cup teammate and owner of the JR Motorsports Navy Chevrolet, was running he added, “It’s too slick at the top for me right now. I need to run the yellow line.”

The team finally had a chance to work on the handling of the car when they pitted on Lap 48. The Navy team changed four tires and added fuel, making only an air pressure adjustment. After the stop, the team found that during the initial run both the left front and right rear tires had been going down, adding to the handling problems Truex had experienced.

When the caution flag waved at Lap 56 Crew Chief Wes Ward had Truex bring the No. 88 back down pit road for four tires, fuel and an additional air pressure adjustment. He restarted the race at Lap 60 in 14th position. The caution flagged waved once again on the next lap as another car spun right in front of Truex. He was able to miss the wreck and gained three positions. The race was red flagged for 12 minutes while track workers fixed damage to a gate.

“Oh yeah,” Truex said after Ward asked if his car was handling any better. “All I know is this is fun stuff out here tonight.”

He moved up as high as fourth before getting shuffled out of the draft and was running 10th when the caution flag waved again on Lap 79.

On Lap 98 the caution flag waved as the No. 38 car spun after clipping Truex’s No. 88 in the left-rear quarter panel. The contact knocked the No. 88 sideways, but Truex was able to correct it and continue on in eighth place.

“Wow. I thought I was a goner there,” Truex radioed to the crew after the incident.

The caution extended the race past 100 laps and the end was decided in a green-white-checkered finish. Truex finished eighth as team owner Earnhardt Jr. won the race after dominating the field for most of the night.

“Thank you guys for giving me a shot to run here tonight,” Truex said after the race. “This was a lot of fun.”

“The Navy Chevrolet was too tight for a good bit of the race, but Martin drove the wheels off of it,” Ward said. “Tonight was a good night for our team. Everyone worked together and we kept adjusting on the car.”

The run boosted the team up one position to 26th in the owners’ point standings.

Navy Racing in the Media

On Thursday, McFarland was interviewed by a reporter from NASCAR Scene. On Friday he fielded questions from the Nextel Vision Screen reporter. Truex was interviewed by MRN Radio during pre-race ceremonies. During the race, a reporter from MRN Radio talked with Ward about how the car was handling for Truex.



No. 88 Navy Winn-Dixie 250 Unofficial Race Stats

Started: 25th

Finished: 8th

Laps: 103/103

Status: Running

Points: 142

Total Points: 1,672

Owner’s Points Position: 26th



Next on Deck

The JR Motorsports’ No. 88 Navy Chevrolet team will travel to Chicagoland Speedway next Saturday for the USG Durock 300. The race will air live at 4 p.m. EDT on TNT and MRN.


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