Martin Truex Jr. and His NASCAR Racing Career
Martin Truex Jr. (born June 29, 1980) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 19 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. He is the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion and a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion (2004, 2005).
Truex was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and grew up in the Mayetta section of Stafford Township, New Jersey. He graduated from Southern Regional High School in 1998. Truex grew up around stock car racing. 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. He was also a contender for 2014 Rookie of the Year in Sprint Cup. Truex Jr. and his girlfriend Sherry Pollex created the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation in 2007. The Foundation is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for childhood and ovarian cancer.
Martin Truex Jr. began his racing career driving go-karts at the New Egypt Speedway located in Central New Jersey. Truex would make his move to the Modified division at Wall Stadium in 1998, as soon as he was old enough to race a car at the age of 18 (under New Jersey regulations). He began racing in the Busch North Series, where he ran three full seasons (2000 to 2002) and made limited starts in 2003. He was hired by Dale Earnhardt Jr. to drive his Chance 2 Motorsports Chevy in 2003. Martin clinched the 2004 Busch Series championship and defended his title the following year.
He moved to NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series in 2006, racing for Dale Earnhardt Inc. He raced for that team from 2006 to 2008. In 2009, Dale Earnhardt Inc. merged with Chip Ganassi Racing (Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing). Truex departed following the season, signing with Michael Waltrip Racing, for which he raced from 2010 until 2013. But on October 14, 2013, this team became a research and development unit, and Truex moved to Furniture Row Racing with his whole pit crew. He raced for them from 2014 until 2018, winning the 2017 NASCAR championship with 20 races won. In 2018, he finished in the points standings for the championship. With Furniture Row Racing folding its activities following the 2018 season, Truex signed up with Joe Gibbs Racing on November 7th, 2018.
Four Wins yet in 2019
Truex started his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing with a 35th place finish at the 2019 Daytona 500 (February 17th). He did make up for that disappointing race with five straight top-10s and two top-20s before scoring four wins at Richmond (2019 Toyota Owners 400, April 13th), Dover (2019 Gander RV 400, May 6th), Charlotte (2019 Coca-Cola 600, May 26th), and Sonoma (2019 Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 23rd). In his last race held at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, on June 30th, he finished 9th.
Truex’s win at Sonoma was his fourth of the season, and his 23rd career win, which ties him with Ricky Rudd and Joey Logano for 34th all-time winners. If one considers his last 112 starts, he has won 20 times, with a win percentage of 17.9 with top-5 finishes in 47% of races. If he keeps up his top-five pace this year (so far, 7 out of 16), he’s set to finish the season with a total of 54 top-5 finishes over a three-year span. The feat dates back to 1998-2000 and attained by Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the top racing series of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Since 2017, it has been named for its sponsor, Monster Energy, but has been known by other names in the past. The championship is determined by a points system, with points being awarded according to finish placement and the number of laps led. The season is divided into two segments. After the first 26 races, 16 drivers, selected primarily on the basis of wins during the first part of the season, are seeded based on their total number of wins. They compete in the last ten races, called the NASCAR playoffs, where the difference in points is greatly minimized.
The series holds strong roots in the Southeastern United States, with half of the races in the 36-race season being held in that region. The current schedule includes tracks from around the United States. Regular season races have been previously held in Canada, as exhibition races were held in Japan and Australia. The Daytona 500, the most prestigious race of this series, had a television audience of about 9.17 million U.S. viewers in 2019. Cup Series cars are unique in automobile racing. The engines are powerful enough to reach speeds of over 200 mph (320 km/h), but their weight coupled with a relatively simple aerodynamic package (based on the body styles of cars currently available for retail sale in the United States) makes for poor handling. The bodies and chassis of the cars are strictly regulated to ensure parity, and electronics are traditionally spartan in nature, to maximize competition between the drivers and teams.
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