Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
40-Year-Old Driver  
Joe Gibbs Racing
Joe Gibbs Racing
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The Joe Gibbs Racing star took quite a few steps back last season. Truex lost his long-time crew chief, Cole Pearn, at the end of 2019 and that loss showed up on the race track last year. The driver of the No. 19 Toyota forged forward with James Small calling the shots, and the duo labored to just one win while still posting 23 Top-10 finishes. The prior three seasons saw Truex average 6 wins and 24 Top 10s while finishing either first or second in the standings from 2017 to 2019. The consistency was still mostly there, but Truex's ability to dominate events and win races was clearly gone. His average finish ballooned from 9.8 in 2019 to 11.7 in 2020. The loss of practice and qualifying surely didn't help matters. Truex will look to put this past campaign behind him and carry forward. He's certain to rebound to some extent, but we don't expect to see any seven or eight win performances this year. Read Past Outlooks
Wins Bristol Dirt Truck Race
Gander Outdoors Truck
March 29, 2021
Truex Jr. won the Pinty's Dirt Truck Race Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway Monday afternoon.
Rain this weekend moved the Bristol truck race to Monday afternoon so that the dirt surface could dry out and allow racing. It was a surprising outcome to say the least. Truex's lack of dirt racing background was not apparent at all in this dominating performance. he led 105 of the 150 laps raced and finished well over one second ahead of Ben Rhodes at the checkered flag. It was Truex's first-career Camping World Truck Series victory and he becomes just the 36th driver in NASCAR history to win at least one race in all three national touring series.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
In a lot of measures Truex has been the most dominant driver of the last three seasons. The Joe Gibbs Racing star has averaged six wins and 24 Top-10 finishes over the last three campaigns. Truex won the 2017 Cup Series championship, and he's finished runner-up in the last two championship seasons. However, the driver of the No. 19 Toyota will have a new crew chief in 2020. The crew chief that led him to all that success the last three seasons, Cole Pearn, has left the team and left NASCAR all together to pursue other opportunities outside NASCAR. This will be a significant development for Truex in the upcoming season. It's difficult to replace that type of leadership and team chemistry overnight. Truex will attempt to do just that with his new crew chief. While we see some downturn potential to Truex's performance, he'll still rank among the elite in the sport. It will take some time to regain that momentum he had with Pearn, but it will come with time.
The 2017 champion couldn't successfully defend his crown last season, but he made it to Homestead and the Championship Round of the Chase as a part of the four-driver finale. Truex would press Joey Logano hard over those closing laps, but couldn't muster the win that would deliver the championship. Still, it was a very successful campaign for the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 team with four wins and 21 Top-10 finishes. Unfortunately, Furniture Row had to close the doors at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Truex and his ace crew chief, Cole Pearn, head to Joe Gibbs Racing for this season and take over the No. 19 Toyota that Daniel Suarez raced the last two seasons. It should be a pretty seamless transition as Furniture Row was using JGR equipment, engines and technical support the last few years.
If the last three seasons have shown us anything, it's shown us that there has been a changing of the guard at the top of the rankings. Truex and his Furniture Row Racing team have gradually improved during that time and have gone from a second-tier team to the top of the heap. The veteran driver snatched eight victories and 26 Top-10 finishes, both career marks, last season and ran away with his first Monster Energy Cup Series championship. With the recent retirement of several veteran drivers and the ebbing of Jimmie Johnson's dominance, Truex now stands as the driver to beat going into the 2018 campaign. Toyota has risen to the top of the manufacturer battle, crew chief Cole Pearn has become the hottest chief in the garage area, and Truex has elevated his game to a level not seen before in his 14 seasons of racing at NASCAR's top level.
The upstart little racing team from Colorado can no longer be looked at as a second-tier operation. Truex has taken the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team to the next level, and the move to Toyota appears to have been a good decision after one season. The veteran driver has combined to win five races in the last two seasons, with four of those coming in 2016 alone. Now with two Chase appearances in tow, Truex is racing alongside the elite in the sport each weekend and rubbing fenders for wins. Crew Chief Cole Pearn may be one of the more gifted and up-and-coming chiefs in the Monster Energy Cup Series garage. Truex, Pearn and this entire team returns intact for the upcoming season, so we expect big things. We wouldn't even rule out a run at the championship in 2017.
Given the disastrous season that Truex had in his debut at Furniture Row Racing, it was hard to see last season's performance coming. The veteran driver was winless and had only five top-10 finishes in 2014. He would return to the No. 78 Chevrolet in 2015 and win his first race in two seasons, grab a career-best 22 top-10 finishes and make a very deep run in last season's Chase for the Cup. Nothing about the rebound makes sense, short of the crew chief position. That is the one factor that did turnover between 2014-15. Cole Pearn replaced Todd Berrier, and he formed great chemistry with Truex right out of the gate. Truex posted top 10s in the first seven races of last season and never looked back. Furniture Row Racing will change from Chevrolet to Toyota in 2016, so there could be some growing pains, but optimism is running very high with this team at present.
Coming off the best season of his nine-year Sprint Cup Series career, Truex enters an uncertain 2013. He posted a career-best 19 Top-10 finishes and tied a career-best with an 11th-place finish in the driver standings last season. With all those accomplishments the driver of the No. 56 Toyota still came up winless even though he had a couple close brushes with victory lane. We don’t expect a complete collapse from Truex in the upcoming season, but the last campaign is probably the high water mark for this driver. Instead we expect to see a performance similar to 2011 for the Michael Waltrip Racing veteran. A season of 12 to 14 Top-10 finishes is most likely in store.
Truex is the two-time defending Busch Series champion and most hyped rookie in the 2006 class. Don't expect a sequel to Kyle Busch's 2005 rookie campaign, but there will be a few good races for Truex this season.
More Fantasy News
Runner-up Finish at AMS
March 20, 2021
Truex Jr. finished second in Saturday evening's Echo Park 250 Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
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Truck Start at Bristol Dirt Race
Gander Outdoors Truck
March 17, 2021
Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that Truex Jr. will pilot the No. 51 Toyota Tundra March 27 in the Pinty's Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch Motorsports PR reports.
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Wins Instacart 500
March 14, 2021
Truex, Jr. won the Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway Sunday afternoon.
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Third in Dixie Vodka 400
February 28, 2021
Truex Jr. finished third in the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday afternoon.
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Falling to Rear at Daytona
February 13, 2021
NASCAR announced the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Truex Jr. will drop to the rear of the field for Sunday's Daytona 500 due to a radiator/oil cooler change.
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