|Credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs|
Born into a racing family, Truex Jr. is the son of Martin Truex Sr. who was successful in the NASCAR Busch North Series. His brother, Ryan Truex, is a racer currently running in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Truex Jr. found his own niche in the racing world regionally and jumped to a NASCAR Nationwide Series start in 2001 at Dover International Speedway. It was a bad outing. Truex Jr. started in 19th but finished in 38th due to an early wreck in the race. Other starts followed in 2002 and 2003 that eventually led Truex Jr. to drive for another famous Jr. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earlier in Truex Jr.’s career Earnhardt Jr. had rented a place for him to live in North Carolina before he found a home to buy. The two forged a friendship that led to Truex Jr. driving for Earnhardt Jr. for part of the season while continuing to drive for his father’s team the rest of the time.
By 2004 Truex Jr. was running the NASCAR Nationwide Series full time for Chance 2, the Nationwide team founded by Earnhardt Jr. and his step-mother Theresa Earnhardt. He was so strong that year that he won the championship beating Kyle Busch. Truex Jr. even had time to run a Cup race for Earnhardt Jr. in the same year when the former was burned in a sports car injury.
In 2005 Truex Jr. defended his championship title in the Nationwide Series which he did heartily taking top honors for the second consecutive year. For the 2006 season Truex Jr. ascended to the Nextel Cup Series in the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI) team. The following year Truex Jr. made his way into the Chase and finished 11th.
By the time DEI merged with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2009 Truex Jr. was coming into his own, but he was on his way out at the organization.
Michael Waltrip Racing is where Truex Jr. landed after departing Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. He started with the team and was placed in the No. 56, the “family number” as it were and the one his father drove in the Busch North Series.
Truex Jr.’s first two years with MWR resulted in a 22nd in points and an 18th in points for the seasons respectively.
With 14 top-10s and six top-fives Martin Truex Jr. was able to pilot his No. 56 car to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase position starting 10th as the Championship runs begin in Chicago this weekend.
Not only am I a fan of Truex Jr.’s, a driver who has shown a lot of heart, a ton of improvement, and even more potential, but I am also the wife of MWR’s biggest fan. Simply by living in the same house with a staunch MWR fan – which certainly includes but is not limited to Michael Waltrip, Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer – I, too, have developed an affinity for these drivers and the team as a whole.
So, although I don’t feel Truex Jr. will win the 2012 championship, I do think it is neat he is in the Chase, represents MWR, and will accumulate even more experience from his presence in this post-season to one day – and soon – make a true run for the Cup.
From Chicago through Homestead I’ll be rooting proudly for Truex Jr. and the MWR No. 56 team. Having Truex Jr. in the Chase and a member of the MWR stable are more reasons why I love NASCAR.
Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.