It will not be a typical weekend for Martin Truex Jr. at Daytona International Speedway, site of Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Cup Series race.
Thursday’s first day of practice at the famed 2.5-mile tri-oval will also be Truex’s birthday. The Furniture Row Racing driver turns 37.
The following day, Truex will take his fishing rods to Lake Lloyd located in the Daytona infield to do a segment with seven-time Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam. Truex and VanDam will host Master Sergeant Oscar Dominguez of the U.S. Air Force in the morning before taking on media in an RC Boat Challenge.
After his fishing schedule, Truex will make a quick change into his fire suit to drive the NBC race car in an exhibition run with analyst Jeff Burton riding shotgun.
Later in the day Truex will take part in qualifying, showcasing the new paint scheme on his No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum Toyota.
“A lot of fun things happening but the most fun would be to bring home a victory in the Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum Toyota in Saturday night’s race,” said Truex. “We need to have a good run after what happened to us in Sonoma. Having an engine issue late in the race spoiled our shot at a victory. We know you’re going to have those kinds of days in a 36-race schedule, but you want to keep them to a minimum.”
Truex’s last visit to Daytona International Speedway was the Daytona 500 in February. He led the race with a few laps remaining, but ran out of fuel and finished 13th.
“Superspeedway racing is all about being there at the end and then trying to close the deal,” said Truex. “We’ve come close a few times, but still looking for that first superspeedway win with Furniture Row Racing.”
After 16 races, it is safe to say that Truex is having a banner year. He has two victories (Las Vegas and Kansas), five top fives, 11 top 10s. He ranks second in driver points, 13 behind Kyle Larson.
Truex is the leader in laps led (963), stage wins (11), stage points (215) and playoff bonus points (21).
“Since we won in Kansas, we were right there with a shot at winning the previous five races,” said Truex. “Our guys at the Denver shop are delivering crazy fast race cars each week to the track. I can’t thank them enough.”
Featured Image Credit: Furniture Row Racing, Pro Cal Professional Decals