Martin Truex, Jr.

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Martin Truex, Jr.
MartinTruexJrAugust2007.jpg
Truex, Jr. in 2007
Born (1980-06-29) June 29, 1980 (age 34)
Mayetta, New Jersey, U.S.
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Achievements 2004, 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Champion
Awards 2004, 2005 Busch Series Most Popular Driver
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
315 race(s) run over 11 year(s)
Car no., team No. 78 (Furniture Row Racing)
2013 position 16th
Best finish 11th (2007, 2012)
First race 2004 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 (Atlanta)
Last race 2014 Coke Zero 400 (Daytona)
First win 2007 Autism Speaks 400 (Dover)
Last win 2013 Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sonoma)
Wins Top tens Poles
2 93 7
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
103 race(s) run over 10 year(s)
Best finish 1st (2004, 2005)
First race 2001 MBNA.com 200 (Dover)
Last race 2010 Ford 300 (Homestead)
First win 2004 Sharpie Professional 250 (Bristol)
Last win 2006 Aaron's 312 (Talladega)
Wins Top tens Poles
13 61 10
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
2 race(s) run over 2 year(s)
Best finish 77th (2005)
First race 2005 Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 (Milwaukee)
Last race 2006 Con-way Freight 200 (Michigan)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Statistics current as of July 6, 2014.

Martin Lee Truex Jr. (born June 29, 1980) is an American stock car racing driver. He drives the No. 78 Chevrolet SS for Furniture Row Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Truex is a two-time Nationwide Series champion; having won the title in 2004 and 2005. His younger brother, Ryan is a champion in the K&N Pro Series East division and currently a driver in the Cup Series for BK Racing, while his cousin Curtis raced for JR Motorsports.

Personal life[edit]

Truex was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and grew up in the Mayetta section of Stafford Township, New Jersey.[1] He graduated from Southern Regional High School in 1998. His father, Martin Truex, Sr., was a former race winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, then called the NASCAR Busch North Series. His younger brother, Ryan, is a former champion in the K&N Pro Series East, and a contender for 2014 Rookie of the Year in Sprint Cup.

Truex is an avid fan of the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL.[2][3]

Early career[edit]

The younger Truex began racing in the NASCAR Camping World East Series in 2000, and won 5 races in 4 years with a family-owned team. After moving south, Truex rented a home from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in Mooresville, North Carolina, before he purchased his own home.

In 2000, Truex, following in his father's footsteps, began racing in the NASCAR Camping World Series, East (then called the Busch North Series). He ran three full seasons (2000 to 2002) and made limited starts in 2003. During his time in the Camping World Series, Truex claimed 13 poles and 5 wins driving his family-owned #56 SeaWatch Chevy.

NASCAR[edit]

2001–2005: Nationwide Series[edit]

2008 Nationwide car

Truex made his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start in 2001 at Dover International Speedway in his father's #56 XST Paintable Silicon Chevy. He started 19th but finished 38th after an early wreck. In 2002, Truex drove one race for Phoenix Racing at New Hampshire International Speedway, starting thirteenth and finishing twenty-ninth. He ran three races the rest of that season for his father, his best finish seventeenth at Dover.

In 2003, he began the season with his father's team, before he was hired by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to drive his #81 Chance 2 Motorsports Chevy. He made his debut with Chance 2 at Richmond International Raceway, where he qualified sixth and led eleven laps before transmission failure forced him to a 31st place finish. He split time between Chance 2 and his father's team for the balance of the season, except at Dover, where he drove for Stanton Barrett. He had a sixth-place run at Bristol Motor Speedway, and ended the season with two consecutive second-place finishes. He ran a total of ten races that season.

Truex raced full-time for Chance 2 in 2004. At Bristol Motor Speedway, he would earn his first career victory, and he would later add 3 more victories over the next 7 races. This would include a victory at Talladega Superspeedway which broke his car owner's streak of winning restrictor plate races in the Nationwide Series, and a victory at the final NASCAR event held at Nazareth Speedway. He took the lead in the championship after Nazareth, but lost it to rookie Kyle Busch a few races later. However, a series of top 5's and top 10's in the second half of the season would allow Truex to pull away from Busch, clinching the Nationwide Series championship with a race to spare. While on his way to that championship, Truex made an appearance in Sprint Cup as a relief driver to Dale Earnhardt Jr., who'd suffered burns in a sports car accident. Truex started his first career Cup race for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in the #1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway later that year, qualifying 33rd and finishing 37th.

Truex stayed in the Nationwide Series to defend his championship in 2005, winning the title for the second season in a row. He won the first NASCAR Nationwide Series points race held outside the United States, in Mexico, as well as defending his Nationwide wins at Talladega and Dover International Speedway. He took his first win at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, 2005.

2006–2009: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing[edit]

2008 Sprint Cup car

In 2006, Truex moved to the #1 Bass Pro/DEI Chevy full-time in the Nextel Cup Series. He had two top-five finishes but finished nineteenth in points. Truex got his first win of the 2007 at the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Open, securing a spot in the 2007 Nextel All-Star Challenge, where he finished 10th. A few weeks later, he won the Autism Speaks 400, scoring his first Sprint Cup Series win with an interval of seven seconds between himself and pole sitter Ryan Newman. He led over half of the race (219 of 400 laps). His performance led to a jump in overall points advancing him to 13th. He followed this performance at Dover with a third place finish at Pocono Raceway, and a second place finish at Michigan Speedway. With a 15th place finish in the Chevy Rock and Roll 400, Truex clinched a spot in his first Chase for the Sprint Cup, and finished 11th in points at season's end. He did not win in 2008, but had eleven top-tens and finished 15th in points. At the beginning of the 2009 season, his team, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. merged with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and be renamed Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Truex began the year by winning the pole for the Daytona 500. Overall in the season, Truex had acclaimed 3 pole positions (Daytona, Atlanta, and Phoenix), following his first pole in 2007 at Texas.[4] 2009 would be his final season with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.[5][6]

Move to Michael Waltrip Racing[edit]

2010–2011[edit]

2011 Sprint Cup car following accident at Martinsville

At the conclusion of the 2009 season, Truex left Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to drive the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing, receiving owner points from the #55 car formerly driven by Waltrip. The #56 was the number Martin's father drove in during his time in the Grand National Division and is considered the "family number". In his first race for Michael Waltrip Racing, Truex finished sixth in the Daytona 500.

After the series of setbacks the following 3 weeks with a blown engine and accidents he fell back to 24th in the point standings, but in the next 7 races after finishing in the top 12 5 times and all top 19 finishes, he would gain to 13th in the point standings. At Dover he earned his 5th career pole. Truex won the All Star Showdown at Charlotte thereby earning the 1st transfer spot for the All Star Race which he finished 2nd in from a 19th (out of 21) starting spot. Truex would go on to finish the 2010 season 22nd in the point standings with 1 top 5 finish and 7 top 10 finishes.

At Martinsville the following year in 2011 Truex accidentally made slight contact with Kasey Kahne resulting in a large wreck; Truex hit the wall hard head on and his car flew on fire for a few seconds as Kasey Kahne hit the wall in his car's rear. Truex climbed out instantly and went to check on Kasey Kahne who received standing ovation as he climbed out uninjured. Truex then left with officials to the care center. He said the wreck was his hardest of his career and both Truex and Kahne were released with normal symptoms. The next week officials told him his wreck was the hardest crash at Martinsville. Truex won another pole at Dover International Raceway. Truex ran well in most of the races but often struggled to finish the races off. He was deducted 25 points because of a windshield violation in the fall Talladega race. Truex ended the season 18th in points, with 3 top 5s and 12 top 10s.

2012[edit]

Truex started 2012 well, winning a $100,000 bonus and finishing 7th in the Daytona 500. He finally hit his stride in Texas, winning the pole and leading 69 laps. The following week at Kansas he started sixth and flat-out dominated the race, leading 173 of 267 laps but falling short to Denny Hamlin. At Atlanta he led 40 of the final 46 laps, but ultimately fell short to Hamlin again when he was forced to pit under a late race caution for fuel, ending up fourth. Truex finished 21st, however he had a spot clinched in the chase, and ultimately made it in. He ended up 11th in the points, with 0 wins, 7 top 5s and 19 top 10s.[7]

2013[edit]

Truex's 2013 Sprint Cup car at Texas Motor Speedway

Truex had an up and down 2013 season. He had a few top five finishes in the early races. His first best run of 2013 was Texas, when he led during the final 55 laps of the race but ended up losing to Kyle Busch. Truex also had low notes, including an accident at Martinsville and a blown engine at Dover. The highlight of the season was at Sonoma, when Truex broke a 218 race winless streak, starting 14th on the starting grid and working his way up to win by over eight seconds over Jeff Gordon. Truex's 218 race winless streak is second only to Bill Elliott, who went winless in 226 races between 1994 to 2001. It is only the second time a car numbered #56 won in NASCAR's highest division, the first being Jim Hurtubise in a 1966 Atlanta race.

Returning to Bristol, Truex was involved in a wreck on Lap 448 where his car hit an inside wall at an angle that he broke his right wrist; he continued racing in spite of wearing a cast on his right wrist.[8] At Atlanta, despite nursing a broken wrist, Truex finished third to Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. In the final race at Richmond, he was in the midst of a fierce battle for the final Wildcard spot, eventually coming out over Ryan Newman by a tiebreaker. As Newman and Truex each had one win, the Wildcard spot went to Truex, for having a better number of top-five finishes than Newman; however on Monday evening, it was announced that due to MWR having attempted to manipulate the results of the race, points penalties were assessed - 50 points for Truex, Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers each - that resulted in Truex being bumped from the Chase and Newman and Jeff Gordon being added to the Chase field, as well as probation for all 3 crew chiefs, suspension of Ty Norris, and a $300,000 fine.[9] In the final 10 races of the season, Truex had 4 top 10 finishes, which included a top 5 run at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Move to Furniture Row Racing[edit]

2014[edit]

On October 14, 2013, it was announced that Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 56 would become a research and development team in 2014.[10][11] This in part was due to NAPA Auto Parts deciding to withdraw their sponsorship in the fallout from the Richmond controversy.[12] Truex was told he could offer his services as a driver to other teams, and on October 17 it was confirmed that for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season Truex would move to Furniture Row Racing and drive the #78 Chevrolet SS being vacated by Kurt Busch.[13] When the deal was formally announced on November 1, 2013, before the Texas race, it was announced that Furniture Row had also signed on all of the members of Truex's MWR pit crew.[14]

Truex's 2014 season started with an outside pole qualifying run for the Daytona 500, Furniture Row Racing's first front row start in the 500. However, Truex's engine failed on lap 31.[15]

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Year Races Wins Poles Top 5 Top 10 DNF Finish Start Winnings Season Rank Team(s)
2004 2 0 0 0 0 2 34.5 34.0 $116,150 70th Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
2005 7 0 0 0 1 5 26.7 20.1 $929,028 47th
2006 36 0 0 2 5 5 20.8 21.2 $4,759,248 19th
2007 36 1 1 7 14 4 16.4 15.2 $5,979,549 11th
2008 36 0 0 3 11 5 18.2 17.1 $5,388,847 15th
2009 36 0 3 1 6 5 21.9 16.4 $5,053,597 23rd Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
2010 36 0 1 1 12 3 18.8 17.1 $3,978,849 22nd Michael Waltrip Racing
2011 36 0 1 3 12 3 17.7 16.8 $4,474,438 18th
2012 36 0 1 7 19 1 12.1 12.1 $6,159,590 11th
Totals 261 1 7 24 75 33 18.9 17.3 $36,839,296

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stafford Township native Truex Jr. looks for strong finish to NASCAR season". Press of Atlantic City. 16 November 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2007. "Truex, a Stafford Township native, enters Sunday's race in 11th place in the standings." 
  2. ^ "NASCAR Drivers Harvick, Truex Have Role With Flyers". AOL News. 5 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Fleischman, Bill (28 May 2010). "Getting on Board: Flyers fans (and even a couple NASCAR drivers) are enjoying the Flyers' ride to the Stanley Cup Final". Philadelphia Flyers. 
  4. ^ Sporting News Wire Service (14 November 2009). "Truex takes first lap at PIR to third pole of the season". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  5. ^ Sporting News Wire Service (7 July 2009). "Truex Jr. will make move to MWR for 2010 season". NASCAR.com. 
  6. ^ "#56 Martin Truex Jr.". MRN/Motor Racing Network. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "NASCAR Statistics: Martin Truex Jr. - 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup". Driveraverages.com. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  8. ^ Peltz, Jim (August 27, 2013). "NASCAR's Martin Truex Jr. will continue racing despite broken wrist". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  9. ^ Fryer, Jenna (September 10, 2013). "AP Sources: Newman Replaces Truex in NASCAR Chase". ABC News. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  10. ^ "MWR RESTRUCTURES TO TWO FULL-TIME TEAMS IN 2014". NASCAR. October 14, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  11. ^ "AP sources: MWR cutting to 2 full teams in 2014"
  12. ^ "NAPA leaving Michael Waltrip Racing". ESPN. September 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  13. ^ Spencer, Lee (October 17, 2013). "Truex to join Furniture Row team". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  14. ^ Gluck, Jeff (November 1, 2013). "Martin Truex Jr. signs with Furniture Row Racing". USA Today. McLean, VA. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  15. ^ Peltz, Jim (February 23, 2014). "NASCAR's Daytona 500 has restarted [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Brian Vickers
NASCAR Busch Series Champion
2004, 2005
Succeeded by
Kevin Harvick