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Behind the Wheel: Truex Jr. focused on relief effort ahead of Texas

November 01, 2012, Martin Truex Jr., Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com



Behind the Wheel: Truex Jr. focused on relief effort ahead of Texas

On Tuesday, my Martin Truex Jr. Foundation started collecting monetary donations to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. My hometown of Mayetta, N.J., was hit hard. I want the people back home and everyone impacted by Sandy to know that I'm thinking about them and will do whatever possible to provide relief quickly. My family, my friends and everyone impacted by this disaster are in our thoughts. I am humbled by the generosity of the NASCAR community. To donate, please visit my website: martintruexjrfoundation.org.

"I want the people back home and everyone impacted by Sandy to know that I'm thinking about them and will do whatever possible to provide relief quickly. "

--MARTIN TRUEX JR.

As for my on-track situation, I'm coming off a tough race at Martinsville Speedway. We had a top-five, top-10 NAPA Toyota but I screwed up. I made a mistake on a restart. Apparently, I switched lanes a few feet too early. I got a drive-through penalty and it ended our day. It was a tough one to swallow. Our Michael Waltrip Racing Toyotas ran really well. It's one of those things you hate to see happen, especially seeing where we are in the championship standings. Unfortunately, I can't change what happened.

Looking back, this hasn't been the Chase effort that we wanted. We still have three races left and the cool part for us is the last three races are at our best tracks. I cannot tell you how glad I am to have these next three races coming up -- Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. I realize that our chances of winning this championship are extremely tough, but we certainly would be pleased to finish out our season with a couple of wins and a top-five finish in the standings. We have had such a good year and so many chances to win. We definitely want a win before the year is out.

Now, we are heading to Texas Motor Speedway. I love the place. It is definitely one of my favorites. In the spring, we were really good there. We sat on the pole, led 69 laps and finished sixth. This should be a good track for this team. Mile-and-a-half tracks have been good for us all season, for that matter. I feel like the stuff we did in Atlanta over a month or so ago will definitely work this weekend. I am looking forward to going back and we'll have a new paint scheme on board with us, too. I'll be driving the Carlyle Tools by NAPA Toyota. We want to run well so we can help launch NAPA's new line of tools. The paint scheme looks great and I've also added a decal to our car to promote the Hurricane Sandy fundraising effort that my Foundation has started.

So, now it's all about winning. It's not a new outlook for this young race team, but it is something that would be huge for me as a driver and huge for my team. It would mean a lot to have a win or wins to carry into next season. I would love to end this season on a high note especially for how well this team has competed all season. It's been a good year for us and it would be great to finish strong and on a high note to lead into the offseason.

Before I go, I want to again thank each of you in advance who plan to contribute to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. It really means a lot to so many people.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.