No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr.’s appointment calendar is several pages long this week as he returns to his home track for Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
The 31-year-old Truex is 10th in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup just 34 points out of the lead heading into the third of the 10-race Chase. This week means more to Truex than the Chase alone.
His Martin Truex Jr. Foundation has contributed more than $1 million to worthy causes for kids in need and holds its annual fundraising efforts this week in around his hometown of Mayetta, N.J.—just 131 miles from Dover.
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver will visit the construction site Wednesday of the Martin Truex Jr. Pediatric Center at the Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford Township . That evening he’ll lead the foundation’s annual fan event at the Holiday Inn Manahawkin. NAPA AUTO PARTS presents the foundation’s golf tournament Thursday at Sea Oaks Country Club followed by the 19th Hole Dinner Celebration.
Former Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins will serve as the race’s grand marshal Sunday, but will also spend time with Truex on race day. Truex will wear a special Philadelphia Eagles race helmet that he helped design. Truex joins Dawkins after the race in Philadelphia at the Eagles/Giants game where Dawkins’ number will be retired.
Truex on Dover: “Dover is going to be a big race for us. We lost some ground in the championship last week so Dover is going to be a bit of a comeback for us. We are 34 points off of the lead. I knew New Hampshire was going to be a tough one for us. It’s time for us to get going if we are going to have a chance in Homestead finale. I love Dover. It’s a great race track and obviously a track where I know how to win. In the spring race, we had a good run with a top-10 finish. We’ll go in there this weekend and hopefully, gain some ground we lost last week with a win.”
Big Weekend Personally: “I’ve got a very busy week planned starting on Wednesday. We are touring the Martin Truex Jr. Pediatric Center. It’s not done yet, but I am looking forward to seeing the progress that’s being made on something that my Foundation is contributing to and that will help so many families and children. To be honest, it is very humbling and I am very grateful to all my sponsors, friends and fans who have made donations. They deserve the credit too. We’ve also got the Fan Event and then on Thursday, I will be hitting balls into the woods at my annual golf tournament. All the monies raised this week will go towards projects I have going on New Jersey as well as the Levine’s Children’s Hospital Fund and the back pack program in N.C. It’s also a special time for me to see some family and friends.”
On Philadelphia Eagles: “I’m pretty stoked to have former Eagles’ player Brian Dawkins with us on Sunday thanks to one of my sponsors, AAA. I’m sure Dawkins could lift our NAPA Toyota without a jack. I’ve been a AAA member for a long time so this is definitely a perk I will never forget. I’m looking forward to the AAA 400 and hanging out with a guy that I have actually been a fan of. I am even wearing an Eagles race helmet this weekend that I hope will give me luck. After the race, I get to go to the game and see his number retired. I am so pumped about going there and supporting my football team. This week is really going to be special for me.”