Martin Truex Jr. through the years
By Pat DeCola | Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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Martin Truex Jr. has quite the history in NASCAR. From his beginnings with Dale Earnhardt Jr. to his championship with Furniture Row Racing and today's ride with Joe Gibbs Racing, see his journey to stardom as NASCAR.com celebrates Truex's 42nd birthday.
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2004: Truex burst onto the scene in his first full-time season competing at the NASCAR national series level, capturing a title in what is now the NASCAR Xfinity Series driving for Chance 2 Motorsports.
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2004: This year was a big one for Truex in general, as he also made his NASCAR Cup Series debut, starting a pair of races for DEI at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
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2005: Truex followed up his title from the previous season by matching his win total of six en route to his second and final championship in what is now the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
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2006: On the heels of his back-to-back titles, Truex moved up to the NASCAR Cup Series full-time the next season, notching a pair of top-five finishes in his rookie campaign for DEI.
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2007: Truex's first career win came not too long after, picking up the victory at Dover Motor Speedway midway through his sophomore season, with 14 top-10 runs along the way.
Jason Smith | Getty Images for NASCAR
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2009: Truex scored his second career NASCAR Cup Series pole and his first (and only thus far) for the 2009 Daytona 500. This was one of three poles on the season for him in his final season at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
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2012: In his third season with Michael Waltrip Racing, Truex came oh-so-close to his first win with the organization but ended up with a runner-up finish at Kansas Speedway.
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2013: Truex finally broke through for the second win of his career, sipping wine in Victory Lane at Sonoma Raceway for Michael Waltrip Racing.
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2014: This year marked a new beginning for Truex, who joined Furniture Row Racing, a racing team located (way) outside the NASCAR hotbed in the Carolinas ... in Denver, Colorado.
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2015: After an adjustment period in his first FRR season, Truex joined forces with crew chief Cole Pearn in 2015. The pair worked together to land in Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway and a then-career-high 22 top fives for Truex.
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2015: With the success Cole Pearn helped him achieve that season, Truex made it all the way to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he finished fourth overall in the standings.
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2016: With a fresh alliance with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing, Truex and Co. took their speed to another level in 2016, winning four races and notching five poles.
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2017: The most dominant driver all season, Truex parlayed a whopping eight wins -- including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway -- into his first NASCAR Cup Series title.
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2018: Truex's final win with Furniture Row Racing came in July at Kentucky Speedway for his second-straight win at the 1.5-mile track. Truex totaled 17 wins at Furniture Row. The team shut down at the end of the 2018 season.
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2018: During a late-season championship push, Joe Gibbs Racing announced Truex and Cole Pearn would join the No. 19 team beginning in 2019.
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2018: Truex came up one spot short of defending his crown in 2018, finishing second in the final race and season standings to champion Joey Logano. Here, he is seen at the NASCAR Awards in Las Vegas with longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex.
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images
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2019: En route to the Championship 4 and a second straight finish of second in the standings, Truex won seven races, tallied 15 top fives and 24 top 10s and averaged a 9.8 finish. He also nabbed the first short-track wins of his Cup career.
Chris Graythen | Getty Images
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2019: At the end of the season, Cole Pearn elected to step away from the No. 19 team. Together, he and Truex had teamed up for the 2017 championship and 24 wins in five seasons. James Small would be the team's crew chief in 2020.
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images
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2020: Truex nabbed another win at Martinsville Speedway, marking his lone win in his first season with James Small. Truex reached the Round of 8 in the playoffs and finished seventh in the final standings.
Sean Gardner | Getty Images
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2021: Truex again found success in '21, notching four wins en route to a fifth Championship 4 appearance. For the third time in four years, he would finish second in the standings.
James Gilbert | Getty Images
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2022: With doubts growing about Truex's future in the sport, the wily veteran struck them down with two words: "I'm back." At Nashville Superspeedway, Truex announced his return to the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in 2023 to mark his 18th full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series.