Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. Driver Bio

Birthdate: June 29, 1980
Hometown: Mayetta, N.J.
First Career Cup race: October 31, 2004 (Atlanta)
Career Cup Poles: 19
Career Cup Wins: 27
Best Cup Championship Finish: 1st – 2017

Martin Truex Jr. enjoyed a dream season on his way to winning his first NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2017.

Truex dominated the 2017 season, leading all drivers in the following categories: wins (8), top fives (19), top 10s (26), laps led (2,253), average start (6.8) and average finish (9.4).

Martin Truex Jr.Along with the wins, a big part of Truex’s road to the championship came when the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team adapted the best to the new format of stage racing NASCAR implemented to start the season.

Excluding the season finale, where he was unable to earn stage points because he was part of the Championship 4, Truex collected a total of 438 points in Stage 1 and 2 in 35 races this year to lead the series. He earned points in 54 of the 71 (73 overall) stages he was eligible to earn points in and led the series with 19 stage wins, each worth 10 points.

The road to his success in NASCAR started in the Xfinity Series when he drove for Chance 2 Motorsports, a team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Teresa Earnhardt.

Truex Jr. clinched his first of back-to-back Xfinity Series titles at Darlington Raceway in 2004 with one race to go, collecting six wins, seven poles and 17 top fives in his first full-time season in the series.

The next season Truex led the series in miles led, laps led and money won en route to becoming the sixth driver in series history to win more than one title in their career and the fifth to do so in consecutive years. The last person to complete the feat was Earnhardt Jr. in 1998 and 1999.

Before making the step up to Cup racing full-time in 2006, Truex amassed 12 victories, 34 top fives and 51 top 10s in just 84 starts in the Xfinity Series.

In his rookie campaign in the Cup Series, Truex captured two top-five and five top-10 finishes and finished 19th in the standings.

The 2007 season was Truex’s breakout year that saw him capture 14 top 10s along with his first career pole and win.

In 2009, Truex remained in the No. 1 Chevrolet, but under the Earnhardt-Ganassi racing banner. He had a career-low of only one top-five finish, but started strong with a pole at the Daytona 500. At the end of the season he announced he was leaving Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and signed with Michael Waltrip Racing.

After starting out the 2010 season with a sixth-place finish in the Daytona 500, Truex and his team struggled to put together solid finishes. He ended the season with just one top-five and seven top-10s and a No. 22 ranking in the point standings.

2011 brought some improvement as Truex rose to 18th in the final point standings. He won a pole at Dover and posted 12 top 10s in 36 starts with a best finish of second (behind Brad Keselowski) in the night race at Bristol.

Truex continued to show improvement in 2012, helping to spark a breakthrough season for Michael Waltrip Racing by putting his No. 56 Toyota into the playoffs as the No. 10 seed.

Truex wound up 11th in the final point standings with 19 top 10s in 36 starts. His best finish was second place twice, at Kansas Speedway on both occasions – to Denny Hamlin in April and Matt Kenseth in October. He also won the pole for the spring event at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing sixth on race day.

Truex entered the 2013 campaign with a 203-race winless streak dating back to June 2007.

That ended with a victory in Sonoma, Calif. But Truex’s 2013 season will be remembered as one in which he became the first driver in the 10-year history of the playoff format to be dismissed from the title series. That was the price he paid after NASCAR determined that Michael Waltrip Racing attempted to manipulate the outcome of the regular-season finale in Richmond in ways that assisted Truex in securing that post-season berth.

On the stat sheet, Truex ended the year with 15 top-10 finishes in his 36 starts – including the road-course victory in Northern California. He was 16th in the final point standings.

Truex failed to qualify for the post-season in 2014 and slipped to 24th in the final standings in his first year at Furniture Row Racing. He more than made up for that the following season, earning a spot in The Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He fell short in his title bid, ending the year fourth.

In 2016, Truex scored four wins – including a dominating performance in the Coca-Cola 600 – and the No. 6 seed in the Chase. Engine failure at Talladega Superspeedway left him with a 40th-place finish, ending his title hopes. He finished 11th in the final point standings.

In 2018, Truex came up one position short of repeating as champion in the final season for Furniture Row Racing.

After FRR announced in September that they would be ceasing operations at the conclusion of the 2018 season due to a lack of necessary funding to field a competitive team, Truex went on to finish second in the Cup Series series standings.

His second-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway brought to a close the team’s 14-year existence in the Cup Series. Truex won 17 of FRR’s 18 career wins since joining the organization in 2014 and all of them came since pairing with crew chief Cole Pearn in 2015.

In 2019, Truex Jr. and Pearn made the move to Joe Gibbs Racing and led the team with seven wins en route to a second-place finish in the standings.

While Truex Jr. has accomplished a lot in the last three seasons he checked one box off in 2019 that has eluded him since making his first Cup start back in 2004 and that was winning at a short track. Not only did he win, but Truex dominated this season at tracks less than 1-mile in length, winning three times and leading a series high 811 laps in the six races. Truex swept the season at Richmond Raceway with his first career short-track win coming in the spring race.

During the off-season Pearn announced that he was stepping away from NASCAR. James Small was promoted from Truex’s lead engineer to crew chief for 2020.