I’m heading to Gateway International Raceway this weekend for my first Nationwide Series race and I can’t wait to strap into the car. I’m nervous and excited, but I know the feeling will all sink in when I complete the first lap of the 200-lap race. I just can’t thank everyone enough at NAPA and Michael Waltrip Racing for giving me this opportunity. Three years ago I remember racing a legends car at Wall Stadium in New Jersey. Now I’m not only contending for a second championship in the K&N Pro Series East, I’m entering the Nationwide garage. It’s hard to believe how fast it’s come, but I’m ready to get started and make the most of my opportunity.
I know my team made the right choice to make our debut in St. Louis. It’s a Cup series off-weekend so the spotlight will be on the Nationwide Series. It’s going to make the competition tougher having guys like Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards in the field, but I know we made the correct choice. Mike Greci has been my crew chief in the East cars and I trust him to take me to this next level. We both work well together, and have successfully adapted to several tracks in the past. I think we’ll be able to figure out this 1.25-mile oval.
I don’t expect to go out and set the world on fire. I know it’s not going to happen. I’m just going to get my feet wet and just try to get as much experience as I can. I’m not going to go in and think I can run top 10 or top five or anything like that. It’s a tough series. I think if I finish the race in the top 20 that will be a successful run for my NAPA team.
My brother is always there to give me advice before I get to the track, and this race won’t be any different. In 2004, he won at Gateway with the Nationwide cars, so I know I can rely on him to help me out. The Truex name has always put a little more pressure on me throughout my career, but it took Martin a lot of starts to figure it out. I’m just going to go and try to do the best that I can.
Every kid wants to be just like his older brother, and I wasn’t any different. I decided I wanted to race full-time when I was about 14 years old, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I guess now I just enjoy going fast. I’ve always enjoyed fishing and riding dirt bikes, but this is what I love to do. I’m the most comfortable when I’m behind the wheel of my racecar.
My whole year has been a whirlwind. I earned a trip to victory lane at New Hampshire last month, which was special because my dad and Martin have both won there. It’s a home track for me, being from New Jersey. Now, I’m getting ready to move into the Nationwide garage. This is definitely a year I’ll remember throughout my career.
About the author
Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.
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