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Jan 19, 2013 - 02:03 AM
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2013 Charlotte (Test) Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup Friday - Martin Truex Jr
Posted by: newsla on Jan 18, 2013 - 06:07 PM
2013 Charlotte (Test) Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup Friday - Martin Truex Jr

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

Are you looking forward to the start of the 2013 season?


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"Glad to be here today -- looking forward to getting on the race track soon, hopefully. It's a bit chilly outside. It will be a good chance for us to get in the new car on a mile-and-a-half and see what it's all about. We've got quite a bit to learn and really wish we could get more time in, but that's the way it goes. We're kind of chomping at the bit to get out there. Looking forward to this season obviously, after what we did last year. The whole team stayed together and we're definitely excited about what we think we'll be able to accomplish this year with our NAPA Toyotas. Just ready to get things going. We've got a lot to learn and hopefully we'll get on the track soon and have a good test."

What do you hope to learn at this test?

"There's a lot of questions to be answered. What is this car like? What is it going to feel like? What kind of balance is it going to take to make speed? What kind of shift will take place in the balance as the fuel burns off? Just things like that. The suspension package and some of the rules that we have this year -- especially in the rear suspension are a lot different than what we're used to and this chassis is very similar to what we had last year. But with the aerodynamic package, the aero balance of the car -- everything is completely different. Just trying to get out there and learn and make laps and make changes. It's going to take some time to figure out those things and we're hoping to get quite a list of things done yesterday and today and obviously, that will be shortened quite a bit. It's just going to take some time to figure out what the car wants and what we're looking for."

Do you think one day of testing at Charlotte will be enough before the race at Las Vegas?

"I would say no. This is the deal where we all roll out the new cars at the same time and everybody is trying to get a jump on the rest of the guys. We're going to try to get as much time on the track as we can get. If we think we need to learn more or if we've got unanswered questions, then we'll be somewhere testing next week."

Have you been in the new car on an intermediate track?

"I haven't been."

Why will MWR be able to run better than Hendrick Motorsports early in the season? "That's a tough question to answer -- we don't know what their (Hendrick Motorsports) plans are obviously. All we can do is focus on the things that we have setup to start doing. We've been doing a lot of testing in the off-season on parts and pieces. There are some things that are different about this car that we have a lot of questions about. Maybe those are the things they have figured out -- I don't know. I can tell you that the commitment from our team from what we did last year and how we got to where we were last year -- that's continued. I feel like this year we'll be even better. I can't speak for anybody else, but I think the direction we're heading and the things that we've done as a team -- we'll continue to try to elevate our team to where we're a contender each week and hopefully a championship contender at the end of the season."

Do you see any benefit to the weight reduction in the cars?

"I think it's definitely a step in the right direction. It should be a positive from the tire perspective -- building a tire that we can go fast and wear out without having to worry about blowing it out. One of the things that we've struggled with, or Goodyear has struggled with is at tracks like Charlotte, where the tire doesn't wear out super fast is keeping the heat out of them. The drivers all want a tire that wears out so the car will start to slide around, gets hard to drive and puts on a better show -- is a lot more fun to race. With the weight in the right side of the cars, it's been difficult for them to do that. Hopefully, that will help them just be able to build a tire that we can have more fun and put on better races with."

How much testing will you do this season?

"I think the biggest change is the testing that we'll be able to do now will be very beneficial just because we'll be able to go to race tracks that we're going to race on and hopefully use tires that will be like we're going to race on. Normally you go to Disney or you go to Nashville or places like that and it's sometimes hard to decipher what was good information and what was bad information. Sometimes you take things you learn at those places to the race track and it just doesn't work. It will be good to get some good testing in. As far as the schedule goes, we're always busy no matter what. If there's free time on our schedule somebody will find us something to do. We might as well be testing and doing something that's beneficial to our race cars and our race team."

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