Sunday, May 28

Martin Truex Jr, Furniture Row Racing Beat the Odds In 2015

Martin Truex Jr. had many moments all throughout the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. One of those moments for the New Jersey native was the opportunity to compete in the final four at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and ending one of his biggest seasons in NASCAR yet.

Truex has overcome many struggles over the last two years. The driver was let go from Michael Waltrip Racing after NAPA left the team at the end of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season because of the Richmond fiasco. After moving to Furniture Row Racing, Truex finished the 2014 season 24th in points while he went through some personal struggles outside of racing involving his girlfriend Sherry Pollex. While she battled with ovarian cancer, Truex was having a battle of his own on the track.

The 2015 season would turn around even more for the driver. Truex started out the season strong and eventually captured his first win since 2013 at the Pocono Raceway. The win also led Truex into the Chase and eventually into the final four at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Truex would later become the Cinderella story of the year, joining Jeff Gordon’s last ride and Kyle Busch’s comeback story.

Despite being seen as the Underdog throughout the Chase, Truex not only found retribution for incidents that occurred over the last two seasons, but also took Furniture Row Racing -- a one car organization -- into the Chase and competing against some of the “powerhouse” teams in the Cup Series.

“Super proud of our season and really proud to come this far to come from 24th in points last year to 4th this year is a pretty big step, and I don't think most people realize just how big of a deal it is and how hard it was for us to get that far,” said Truex.

While most teams operate within the vicinity of Charlotte, Furniture Row Racing operates out of Denver, Colorado. Although the team had an alliance with the Richard Childress Racing organization, the team doesn’t necessarily operate the same way as RCR. With a single-car organization, Truex doesn't have teammates to rely on for information or to compare race strategies like some of his competitors.

“I mean, we were definitely up against a lot here.  The odds were against us for sure.  You know, obviously really proud of everybody, like I said, and you know, we didn't come here saying we were going to be okay finishing fourth.  We came here and really tried everything in our power, everything we knew how to do, to put together our best performance. It just wasn't in the cards for us,” Truex said.

While Truex and the Furniture Row Racing team found the speed and consistency in 2015 under Chevrolet, the team will flip the switch to Toyota and form a new technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. All four JGR drivers won races in 2015 and went on to score the championship with Kyle Busch this past weekend. Forming the new alliance will give the small team even more motivation going into 2016.

“I think this is great motivation for us for next year.  I think that with the things we have coming and going to Toyota and teaming up with JGR and all that stuff, I think the future is bright for this team, and we're keeping all our guys together, and hopefully this is our first season battling for a championship but not our last.  I really feel strong that this is a special group of guys, and if we can keep that together for hopefully the rest of my career, I'd love to drive for them,” Truex said.

Christine Valdez

Christine Valdez has been following the world of sports from a very young age and it was her love for sports that led her to career insports journalism. As a Kean University alumni with a degree in Communications ,she has covered various sporting events within college sports, MLS, MLB, and, NASCAR.

Over the years her work has been featured in various publications, with some of most recent work being featured on NJTV News, RantSports and New Jersey Newsroom.



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