Martin Truex Jr. — in the flesh — is ready for a new season

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 15:  Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, sits in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2013 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 15: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, sits in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Yes, Daytona, there really is a Martin Truex Jr.

You can’t blame those who were beginning to wonder. Though Truex and his new Furniture Row Racing team were barely acquainted in January, they didn’t participate in Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway in early January.

During the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour late last month, Truex appeared via Skype from a Caribbean vacation spot in Anguilla.

Nor did Truex make it to his scheduled Media Day appearance Thursday at Daytona. His plane was snowed in at the Statesville, N.C., airport until late afternoon.

But after what has been an unusual offseason for the driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet, Truex arrived at the Daytona International Speedway on Thursday evening well-rested and ready to go.

“I feel really good about it, definitely refreshed, rejuvenated, ready to go,” Truex said Friday.

Truex added that there was a method to skipping the Preseason Thunder sessions, part of which might have to do with superstition on the part of crew chief Todd Berrier.

“I think they’re approaching this a little differently,” Truex said. “They didn’t feel like this was one of the places where they wanted to spend the time and effort testing. They felt like their time was better spent getting stuff ready at the shop to go test at a place like Nashville, which we’ve already been to.

“I think part of it is Berrier’s a little bit superstitious. He said the year that they didn’t test here they won the (Daytona) 500 (with Kevin Harvick at Richard Childress Racing in 2007). So maybe that’s part of the reason as well. He hasn’t really said that, but that’s kind of what I got from talking to him.

“But we’ll just see how it goes. It’s been a great offseason. There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes, obviously, getting all the stuff ready. … It hasn’t been a typical offseason, but it’s been a busy one, for sure.”

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