Despite Adversity Off The Track, 2017 Has Been An “Incredible Ride” For Truex Jr.by Camille Jones November 17, 2017 0 comments
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Martin Truex Jr. has shined on the track throughout the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, but off the track, he has faced personal battles that make his success in the race car just that much sweeter.
Truex enters the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway as one of the four competitors going for the championship. In 2017, Truex and his Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota team earned three pole awards, seven victories, 18 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes. The team has placed themselves as one of the top contenders going into the Championship 4.
While Truex clicks off wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and dominates week in and week out, it becomes hard to forget that life away from the track has been anything but simple for the 37-year-old driver over the past several years.
In 2014, Truex’s long-time girlfriend, Sherry Pollex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The diagnosis came as a shock to the happy couple, but as Truex does on the track every weekend, Sherry rallied hard to overcome the cancer.
In July of 2017, Pollex underwent surgery for a cancer recurrence. She continues to fight and has been doing well as the season has gone on.
Truex explained what the experience of winning the Championship could be like for the couple. Truex said, “It would be awesome to be able to just be on the top of the world with her for a few days, you know. Honestly, she’s been through a lot, and I know she doesn’t want this– she doesn’t want me racing to get this championship for her, but I’m definitely going to try to get it for her.”
Unfortunately, the hits kept coming for the driver of the No. 78, when at Kansas Speedway a member of Furniture Row Racing road crew, Jim Watson passed away suddenly from a heart attack on Saturday night in Kansas. Truex went on to win the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway the following day, taking the team to victory lane with heavy hearts.
In early November, Furniture Row Racing owner, Barney Visser suffered a heart attack. He then underwent successful bypass surgery. Visser continues to recover, but he is doing well. He will not be present at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend.
“No, Barney’s not coming,” said Truex. “But he’s feeling good. I talked to him last night, and he’s pretty excited. He said he’s got big plans for the surgery. He said he’s already feeling good.”
“Normally through a race weekend we don’t really talk much,” Truex added when asked if he’d be in contact with Visser throughout the weekend. “He comes in Sunday, we talk before the race, and he usually just sends me a message or calls me Sunday night after the race. I’m guessing, since we talked last night, I probably won’t hear from him until Saturday night. He might wish me good luck.”
After everything Truex has been through on and off the track, nothing would feel better than to hoist the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship trophy over his head.
How would Truex feel winning the championship?
“I don’t even know if I can comprehend that right now, to be honest. I don’t know the answer to that question. I’ve made it farther in racing than I ever thought possible. This season’s been just an incredible ride. It’s been a lot of fun. And I’ve tried along the way to slow down and just enjoy it, each win, and just the accomplishments.”
The Ford EcoBoost 400 will broadcast live on NBC and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com