Martin Truex, Jr. Has Gone Where No Earnhardt Has At Talladega Superspeedway
No name has been more successful at Talladega Superspeedway than Earnhardt, with a total of 15 career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victories at the track between Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
But Martin Truex, Jr. has boldly gone where no Earnhardt has gone before at Talladega Superspeedway. Truex has won the same event - the Aaron's 312 Busch Series race - each of the past three years. Despite all their victories at the track, neither Earnhardt has won the same Talladega race three consecutive years.
Truex will try to make it four in row on April 28 when the Busch Series returns to Talladega Superspeedway for this year's Aaron's 312, part of the Aaron's Dream Weekend set for April 27-29.
No NASCAR driver in history has won the same race at Talladega Superspeedway four consecutive years. In fact, the only other NASCAR driver to manage a three-peat was David Pearson, who won what is now known as the Aaron's 499 NEXTEL Cup race in 1972, '73 and '74.
"To win four in a row at a place like Talladega would be beyond memorable," Truex said.
Dale Earnhardt, Sr. won the same race back-to-back at Talladega Superspeedway three times (in 1983-84, 1990-91 and 1999-2000), while Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has done it twice (2001-02 in the UAW-Ford 500 and 2002-03 in the Aaron's 499).
But while neither driver managed a three-peat, the Earnhardt name has been in Victory Lane three straight times. That's because Truex drives for none other than Dale Earnhardt Inc.
All of which makes the success Truex has had at Talladega Superspeedway even more special for him. He is carrying on a tradition established by one of his childhood racing idols, and he is doing it at a track where the Earnhardt name is revered by the fans.
"Dale Earnhardt was my hero growing up. I loved the way he raced. He was my favorite driver before I ever raced a car," the 26-year-old Truex said. "I still can't believe that I get to drive for the team that bears his name."
"To be part of the company he started and to be able to carry it on to more wins, it's just such an honor for me. I'm just glad to be associated with it. It's very emotional to think that some of the fans might associate me with Dale Sr. because I drive for DEI."
As is the case with both Earnhardts, Truex attributes his victories at Talladega to his enjoyment of draft racing.
"I just love racing in the draft," Truex said. "Luckily, I have had cars at Talladega that could run on the low or high side. That's important, because it gives you more options on who you'll draft with."
Of course, driving for DEI and its powerful restrictor-plate program also helps. Since October 2001, DEI cars have won 10 of the 16 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch races held at Talladega Superspeedway, including each of the past four Busch events (Earnhardt Jr. won the Aaron's 312 in 2003, before Truex began his run).
"That's a big confidence builder," Truex said. "Knowing that you will have a strong engine at Talladega is one less thing you have to worry about. I'm going into (the race) thinking that I'll win."
If he does, this time Truex will go where no NASCAR driver has ever gone before - to Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway for the fourth year in a row.
Talladega Superspeedway welcomes fans back for another year of the most competitive racing on the NASCAR circuit! Get your tickets now for Aaron's Dream Weekend, set for April 27 - 29, 2007, featuring the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Busch Series and Aaron's 499 NEXTEL Cup Series races. Friday, April 27 will feature The Birmingham News Qualifying for the NASCAR Busch Series. Saturday, April 28 will feature The Birmingham News Qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Busch Series race. Then on Sunday, April 29, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers will
compete in the Aaron's 499, the ninth race of the season. Kids age 11 and younger are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available by calling 1-877-Go2-DEGA (462-3342) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT, or by logging onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). You may also purchase tickets in person at Talladega Superspeedway's Ticket Office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT, Monday - Friday.