Brains, Brawn Give Truex Jr. Powerful Feeling for Sprint Unlimited
February 11, 2015
Cole Pearn's current status in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series couldn't be better. The 32-year-old Canadian native was named crew chief for Martin Truex Jr.'s No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet following the 2014 campaign.
A former race engineer for Furniture Row Racing, Pearn will make his official crew chief debut Saturday night (Feb. 14) at the non-points Sprint Unlimited, a 75-lap race at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. It will be the first major event of Speedweeks, which will culminate with NASCAR's crown jewel -- the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22.
Truex qualified for the Sprint Unlimited -- previously known as the Budweiser Shootout -- as a result of being a former Daytona 500 pole winner (2009).
"I am really looking forward to having Cole as my crew chief," said Truex, who will be making his fourth career appearance in the Sprint Unlimited. "He is heavy in the brain department and I am heavy with the right foot. I guess you could say that's a pretty solid driver/crew chief combination."
Truex added, "That was good news when NASCAR changed the qualifying requirements for the Sprint Unlimited. When you're at Daytona you want to race when everybody else is racing, you don't want to be on the sidelines. The Sprint Unlimited is a fun race without the pressure of points. This race always seems to get a little dicey but that's what we enjoy."
Though the race requires more work and more cars to be transported from the Furniture Row Racing shop in Denver, Colorado to Daytona Beach, Pearn couldn't be happier to be one of the 25 teams entered in the Sprint Unlimited.
"You want to be a participant, not a spectator," said Pearn. "You kind of feel out of it when you don't qualify for this race. It's a good event to work out the bugs and begin preparations for the 500. We're coming to Daytona well equipped and well prepared."
The Sprint Cup teams will return to the track on Sunday for Pole Day qualifying.
Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited will be televised on FOX, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. FOX will also air Sunday's Pole Day qualifying at 1 p.m. ET.