|See you at the Shootout, Martin!|
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver lapped the 1.5-mile oval in the No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota at a speed of 190.369 mph to earn the pole and a starting berth in the non-points event, which will kick off the stock car portion of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013.
“It means we got the pole and are in the Shootout next year,” said Truex Jr. when asked what the pole meant to his team. “It means a lot for me to get a pole for all these guys, NAPA and everybody that has stood behind us like Michael (Waltrip, team owner) and Rob (Kauffman, team owner). I mentioned it earlier, we've come a long way. I feel like we're really starting to gel as a team, we're starting to get where we need to be. We're not there yet, but this is one step in that direction.”
Eligibility requirements for next season’s Daytona Shootout return the race to its roots with the field consisting of pole winners and past Shootout winners who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.
Truex Jr., who becomes the 16th driver to qualify for the Daytona Shootout, has made two previous starts in the Daytona Shootout. He finished ninth back in 2008 and 19th in this year’s event.
In addition to Truex, 2012 pole winners currently eligible for the event include Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin. Eligible past event champions include Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader