MARTIN TRUEX JR: NO. #78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET DRIVER
Martin Truex Jr.’s path to NASCAR started with countless hours riding the waves of the Atlantic Ocean in his youth, hoisting nets full of clams for his father’s family-owned seafood business in Mayetta, N.J.
The money earned working for his dad allowed Martin the resources to polish his go-karting skills as a driver in the Northeastern modifieds. The next seven years saw several victories and championships at New Egypt Speedway in N.J. Like his father, the 18-year-old raced a modified at Wall Stadium Speedway, even winning the prestigious Wall Stadium Turkey Derby, a race Martin Sr. won years earlier.
He then caught the attention of the NASCAR world including Dale Earnhardt Jr. who was looking for a driver for the Chance 2 Nationwide team he operated jointly with DEI. Truex drove a handful of races for Chance 2 in 2003 before racing fulltime in 2004. Where he won back-to-back Nationwide Series championships and earned a full-time ride in the Sprint Cup Series.
Carving out a role as an established driver in the highest form of stock car racing in the world is a notable achievement, but it’s just a start for Truex Jr. Now, with two Sprint Cup trophies on the mantel from his 2007 Dover victory, and his 2013 win at Sonoma he embarks on a new chapter for the 2014 season with a new team, new car and back in the seat of a Chevy.
Martin hasn’t moved far away from his down-to-earth roots. Giving back to the community is a huge priority in his life. In just six years, the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation has raised more than a million dollars for community programs and initiatives like the Second Harvest Food Bank Backpack Program feeding hungry children during the school year, supporting several different back to school start up needs, supporting child abuse advocacy centers like The Dove House and Pat’s Place in Charlotte, NC and active involvement with the medical needs of children. August 2013 was the grand opening of the Martin Truex Jr. Pediatric Care unit at Southern Ocean Medical Center in his hometown of Manahawkin, NJ, serving an entire community. Then in 2008 Martin’s longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex was made aware of the increasing financial needs of deserving families when they are experiencing the ongoing treatment and expense of their child stricken with pediatric cancer. This prompted the establishment of a Special Needs Fund at Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH) in Charlotte, NC. Through that ongoing relationship, the foundation was also able to partner with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and launch the Ryan Seacrest Studio in the lobby of LCH so that every child in the hospital can benefit from this uplifting and exciting addition. 2014 will be the launch year for ventures into helping with Pediatric Cancer Research to hopefully one day eradicate childhood cancer altogether.
TRUEX JR. SPRINT CUP HISTORY:
In 2007, Truex won the Sprint Showdown in May then just weeks later won the Dover race seven seconds ahead of the second-place car. In November, he posted the quickest time at Texas Motor Speedway for his first pole award. In addition, he went on to qualify and finish 11th in the Chase championship point standings with a win, seven top-five and 14 top-10 finishes.
In 2008, he earned three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes finishing 15th in the standings. The 2009 season saw Truex finish six times in the top-10 and finish 23rd in points.
Truex was one of the sport’s most sought after drivers in 2009 when NAPA AUTO PARTS chose him as Michael Waltrip’s successor. The announcement was made in July before a live television audience and a packed house of media, sponsors, employees and fans at MWR. By season’s end, the 29-year-old driver finished 23rd in the championship point standings that included three poles, one top-five and six top-10 finishes.
In 2010, he finished out his first full season with Michael Waltrip Racing ranked 22nd in the championship standings. Highlights included contending for victories at the Daytona 500 and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He also won the pole at Dover International Speedway and took home the victory at the Sprint Showdown and nearly backed it up moments later with a runner-up result in the Sprint All-Star race. In total, Truex scored one top-five, seven top-10 and 24 top-20 finishes.
In 2011, Truex contended for a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, ending the season on a strong note with four top-10 finishes in the last five races. His third-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway helped secure the NAPA team to 18th place in the championship points standings. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver’s year-end stats included a pole at the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Oct. 2 along with three top-five, 12 top-10 and 24 top-20 finishes.
Truex contended for a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2012, ending the season on a strong note in 11th place overall, just 4 points behind Jeff Gordon at 10th place. His 2012 season stats were thirty six races, one pole, seven top-5′s and nineteen top-10′s.
Martin joined Furniture Row Racing for the 2014 season and is building the foundation to take this team to the chase in 2015.