MIDLAND, N.C. — Tyler Truex made his first laps around Concord Speedway in a tour-type modified during practice for Saturday’s 14th annual John Blewett III Memorial North South Shootout in memory of Charles Kepley.
His initial reaction?
“It takes some balls to drive this place!” he exclaimed with a huge grin.
Truex, the cousin of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Martin Truex Jr., is accustomed to driving a smaller modified with a crate motor package up at his home track — the third-mile Wall Stadium Speedway bullring in New Jersey.
However, Truex is hoping to use the momentum of the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout Series championship he scored this summer in a Legends car at Charlotte Motor Speedway as motivation to turn some heads in his North South Shootout debut.
“Man, we’ve had a good year … this is a great way to cap it off,” Truex said. “This is a different deal for me, so we really don’t have a lot of expectations, but I’d be happy just to stay out of trouble and have a good time out there.”
“I’ve only ever driven the crate (modified) stuff; I’ve never driven one of these tour cars before, so it’s really a new experience for me. It’s hammer down … and that dogleg off turn two will bite you if you’re not careful. We’ve been alright in practice. Any time you jump in a new car it’s going to be a bit of a learning curve, but I’m feeling alright about it.”
Truex said the biggest difference between the modifieds he has driven regularly at Wall Stadium and the No. 66 tour car he is driving this weekend at Concord is the power difference between the two motors.
“The motor package gives you more horsepower in one of these tour cars than what I’m used to with the sportsmans … but these cars down here run a bigger tire as well that’s different than what I’m familiar with. It’s all a learning experience, but if we can go out and run all 125 laps, I’ll be happy with that.”
For the 20-year-old, his overarching goal is simple: go out and have fun.
“Man, I’m a racer. Being at the track … this is what it’s all about. I just want to have fun doing this deal. If we can do that, it’ll be a great day.”
The 14th annual John Blewett III Memorial North South Shootout in memory of Charles Kepley kicks off at 2 p.m.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as both the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series and the co-track announcer at Millbridge Speedway.
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