Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. is the latest driver to lock up a starting spot for next year’s Daytona Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With his pole position at Texas Motor Speedway last week, Michael Waltrip Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. is the latest driver to lock up a starting spot for next year’s Daytona Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, joining an elite field of top NASCAR drivers who will compete in this fan favorite season-opening event.

Truex Jr. 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 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.

2012 Pole Winners:
Greg Biffle
Carl Edwards
Denny Hamlin
Kasey Kahne
Mark Martin
Martin Truex Jr.
Past champions:
Kyle Busch
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Tony Stewart
Jimmie Johnson
Jeff Gordon
Bill Elliott
Terry Labonte
Ken Schrader

The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 6-7, 2012.  Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, featuring a special hour-long pre-race concert by multiplatinum, Grammy-winning superstars Train, and the Subway Jalapeno 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at

Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter ( and Facebook ( for all the latest news all season long.

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