Martin Truex Jr
Martin Truex Jr is an American stock car racing driver who recorded more than 520 starts in all three NASCAR national series between 2001 and 2017, winning nine races in the Cup Series and thirteen races in the Busch Series. He was the Busch Series champion two years in a row, in 2004 and 2005.
Martin senior was also a stock car driver
Martin Lee Truex Jr. was born on June 29, 1980, in Trenton, New Jersey. His father, Martin Truex Sr., was also a stock car driver between 1985 and 2000. Martin Junior began his racing career with go-karts at the New Egypt Speedway in Central New Jersey. At the age of 18, he moved to the Modified division at Wall Stadium. In 2000, which was the last season for Martin Senior, the younger Truex entered the NASCAR Busch North Series, driving the #56 Chevrolet for the family-owned team.
In his debut season, Truex Jr has won one race at Loudon and finished 12th in the standings after 17 races. He ran three full seasons (2000-2002) and part of the 2003 season in the Busch North Series, winning two more races in 2001 and two races in 2003.
Busch Series debut in father's car at Dover
In the meantime, he debuted in the national Busch Series in 2001, driving father's #56 Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway in September. He crashed early, after just 32 laps. In 2002, Truex Jr had four attempts in the Busch Series, one time with Phoenix Racing's #1 Chevrolet and three times with father's #56 Chevrolet. His best finish was 17th place at Dover.
2004 Busch Series title for Truex Jr
In 2003, Martin Truex Jr began the season with his father's team before he was hired by Dale Earnhardt Jr. to drive the #81 Chevrolet for his Chance 2 Motorsports team. Truex Junior competed ten races in the 2003 Busch Series and scored best results at two last races of the season, taking the second place at Rockingham and Homestead.
It was just an announcement of the victorious season in 2004. For the first time, he had a full-season arrangement with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his Chance 2 Motorsports team. In the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, he was driving the #81 Chevrolet, for the rest of the season, his car was the #8 Chevrolet.
On March 27, at Bristol Motor Speedway, Martin scored his maiden NASCAR Busch Series victory. Later in the season, he added five more wins (at Talladega, Gateway, Nazareth, Dover and Memphis) to take his first championship title ahead of Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle.
Nextel Cup debut in 2004 at Atlanta
While on his way to the championship title, Truex debuted in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series as a replacement for injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his #1 Chevrolet. Martin debuted in the premium NASCAR series at Atlanta Motor Speedway in October, qualifying 33rd and finishing 37th. He also participated in the last race of the season at Homestead-Miami, finishing 32nd.
As a 2004 Busch Series champion, Truex Jr participated in the 2005 International Race of Champions. He won one of four races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, to finish second in the IROC standings behind Mark Martin.
Six wins for back-to-back title
In 2005, Martin Truex Jr stayed in the Busch Series to defend his title with #8 Chance 2 Motorsports Chevrolet. He again won six races and added sixteen more top 10 finishes to take the title for the second year in a row, this time ahead of Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards. Truex scored victories in Mexico City, Talladega, Dover, Daytona, Loudon and Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Two Truck Series races in the whole career
In the 2005 Nextel Cup Series, Truex Jr participated in seven races with #1 Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Inc., including his first Daytona 500. His best result was seventh place at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.
In June 2005, at Milwaukee Mile, Truex Jr competed for the first time in the NASCAR Truck Series, driving the #15 Chevrolet for Billy Ballew. In his whole career, he drove only two Truck Series races, the second was in June 2006 at Michigan International Speedway.
At the beginning of 2006, Truex again participated in the Race of Champions. He again won one of four races, and again at Atlanta Motor Speedway, to finish third in the standings.
First full race season in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series
In 2006, Truex moved to the #1 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet to compete full-time in the Nextel Cup Series. In his first full season in the premium NASCAR series, Truex finished fifth at Talladega and second at Homestead-Miami, to finish 19th in the points.
During the 2006 season, Truex drove three Busch Series races in his victorious #8 Chevrolet and three more in the JR Motorsports #88 Chevrolet, winning one more race at Talladega Superspeedway. It was his 13th and last Busch Series victory in his career. In the following years, he occasionally competed in the Busch/Nationwide Series, scoring a few good results, including the second place at Dover in 2007 and second place at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2010. From 2011, he didn't race any more in the Nationwide Series.
Maiden Cup victory at the Monster Mile
Truex stayed with Earnhardt's team for three more seasons. In 2007, Truex had won the Nextel All-Star Open race, securing a spot in the Nextel All-Star Challenge. A few weeks later, on June 3, the maiden Nextel Cup victory came. Truex had won the Autism Speaks 400 race at Dover International Speedway. After the regular part of the season, Truex entered the Chase and finished 11th in the standings at the end of the season.
In 2008, the series was renamed into Sprint Cup. Truex didn't win, finishing eleven times in the Top 10 to take 15th place in the points. At the beginning of the 2009 season, Dale Earnhardt Inc. merged with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and was renamed Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Truex remained in the #1 Chevrolet and took the pole position in the season-opening Daytona 500, finishing sixth in te race. With six Top 10 finishes, Truex ended the season in 23rd place.
In 2010, Martin joined Michael Waltrip Racing
The next chapter in Martin's racing career was opened in 2010 when he joined Michael Waltrip Racing. His new car was the #56 Toyota. He returned to the family number 56, which he inherited from his father at the beginning of his career.
The season 2010 started with sixth place at Daytona 500. A few weeks later, Truex was fifth at Martinsville and it remained his best result in 2010. He was seven times in the Top 10, to finish 22nd in the points.
Huge wreck at Martinsville
In 2011, Truex finished twelve times among top 10 drivers. He was closest to his second Cup victory at Bristol Motor Speedway, where he finished second behind Brad Keselowski. At Martinsville, Truex survived the huge wreck, the biggest in his career, when he hit the wall after a contact with Kasey Kahne. Truex ended the season 18th in points.
Second Cup victory after six years of waiting
In 2012, Martin finished seven times in the Top 5, but still missing his second victory. He finished second in both races at Kansas Speedway: in April behind Denny Hamlin, and in October behind Matt Kenseth. Truex finished 11th in the points, which was his best career result, tied with the 11th place finish in 2007.
In 2013, Truex's #56 Toyota was close to victory at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing second behind Kyle Busch's Toyota. And finally, after six years of waiting, on June 23, at Sonoma Raceway, Martin Truex Jr. clinched his second Sprint Cup Series victory. At the end of the regular season, Truex earned the place in the Chase, but the team and three drivers (Truex, Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers) were penalized because of manipulation with results of the race at Richmond, so he didn't enter the Chase. Truex finished the season 16th in the points.
In 2014, Truex joined Furniture Row Racing
For 2014, Michael Waltrip Racing converted the #56 to a research and development team, so Truex lost the seat. He moved to the Furniture Row Racing team and their #78 Chevrolet SS. Together with Martin, his pit crew also moved from MWR to Furniture Row.
The first season with the new team wasn't easy; Truex scored only five Top 10 results and finished 24th in the points. His best result was fourth place at Kansas Speedway.
Third Sprint Cup victory at Pocono
All changed in the 2015 season, which was the best ever for Martin when looking season's results because he finished fourth in the final standings of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. The first change was the new crew chief Cole Pearn. Truex had a strong start of the season, finishing fourteen times in the Top 10 in first fifteen races.
In the whole season, the #78 Chevrolet finished 22 times among top 10 cars, including a victory in the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 race at Pocono Raceway in June. Truex's third Cup Series victory was the second ever win for Furniture Row Racing and the first ever win for crew chief Cole Pearn. Truex entered the Chase and advanced to the final four at Homestead-Miami. He finished fourth in the points, which was the career best result both for him and the team.
Most dominant NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory ever
The start of the season 2016, in which Chevrolet SS was replaced by Toyota Camry, was the most exciting ever. Truex qualified 28th for the Daytona 500 but he progressed to the top and after the hectic fight against Denny Hamlin, he lost by 0.010 seconds. It was the closest Daytona 500 finish in history.
At Charlotte's Coca-Cola 600 Truex scored his fourth victory, breaking the record for the most dominating win, after he led 392 of 400 laps (588 of 600 miles). It was also the record-breaking season for him, as he won four times during 2016. He entered the Chase but finished only 11th in the final standings.
Martin continues to collect wins in 2017
In 2017, his fourth season with #78 Furniture Row's car, Martin Truex continued to collect victories. In March, he won Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and then again at Kansas Speedway's Go Bowling in May.