Martin Truex, Jr.


Martin Truex, Jr.
Martin Truex, Jr.

Truex (right) and Robby Gordon in August 2007
Born June 29, 1980 (1980-06-29) (age 31)
Trenton, New Jersey
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Achievements 2004, 2005 Busch Series Champion
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
225 races run over 8 years
Car no., team #56 – Michael Waltrip Racing
2011 position 18th
Best finish 11th – 2007
First race 2004 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 (Atlanta)
First win 2007 Autism Speaks 400 (Dover)
Last win 2007 Autism Speaks 400 (Dover)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 56 6
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
103 races run over 10 years
2010 position 51st
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 races run over 1 years
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 November 21, 2011.

Martin Lee Truex Jr. (born June 29, 1980) is a NASCAR driver. He drives the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing in the 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, while his cousin Curtis raced for JR Motorsports. Truex is an avid fan of the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL.[1][2]

Contents

Early career

Truex was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and grew up in the Mayetta section of Stafford Township, New Jersey.[3] 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 Grand National Division North Series. 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.

2001–2005

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

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.

2010–Present

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 a 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.

References

  1. ^ http://www.aolnews.com/2010/06/05/nascar-drivers-harvick-truex-have-role-with-flyers/
  2. ^ http://flyers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=530391
  3. ^ "Stafford Township native Truex Jr. looks for strong finish to NASCAR season", Press of Atlantic City, November 16, 2007. Accessed November 16, 2007. "Truex, a Stafford Township native, enters Sunday's race in 11th place in the standings."
  4. ^ "Truex takes first lap at PIR to third pole of the season", Nascar.com, November 14, 2009. Accessed November 14, 2009. "Truex takes first lap at PIR to third pole of the season"

External links

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

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