By Chris Huber
Martin Truex Jr. finished 20th at the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 23. He moved from 26th to 25th place in the overall Sprint Cup Series standings. Clad in the World Vision paint scheme, Martin’s No. 78 Chevrolet supported a text-to-give campaign to bring clean drinking water to a village in Zambia. Martin ran as high as fifth, but dropped back later in the race. He started in 23rd position.
“I couldn’t predict what the car was going to do,” Martin said in a post-race press release. “It was very inconsistent. The car was tight then it was loose and it plowed through the corners. We had a couple of good runs, but couldn’t maintain the performance.”
Joey Logano, in the No. 22 Ford, won after leading 76 of 500 laps at Bristol’s half-mile oval track.
Martin and Furniture Row Racing need a win at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Aug. 31) or at Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 6) to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
In Atlanta, he finished third in 2013 and fourth in 2012.
A sidetrip to Tanzania
While the crew scrutinized every square inch of the car, hundreds of fans buzzed around in golf carts, gazed at the empty grandstands from the grassy knoll, and partook in prerace festivities on this 84-degree, sun-soaked afternoon.
Some visited the World Vision Experience truck, where they took a virtual bus journey with a boy to Kisongo, Tanzania.
“Once we ‘got off the bus,’ and we went … with the kid, and he was introducing us to the people, and seeing the way that they live, it makes you feel like you were actually there seeing it,” says retired NASCAR driver Glenn Jarrett, who went through the experience Thursday and pledged to sponsor a child.
World Vision hopes the experience truck will show race fans how they can get involved with helping people living in poverty both here in the U.S. and abroad.
My first day proved exciting and successful. Tomorrow, the pressure mounts for the Furniture Row Racing team with practice and qualifying. Check back for more on how that goes as we head into Saturday’s race.