Reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr., a native of Mayetta, New Jersey, was honored in his home state on Thursday, with Gov. Phil Murphy declaring May 31 Martin Truex Jr. day. In return, Truex presented the governor one of his race-worn firesuits.
“Being from New Jersey and thinking about having my own day is pretty crazy, so it was a big day for me,” Truex said in a press release from his Furniture Row Racing team. “It was a huge honor to be recognized by [Gov.] Murphy for Furniture Row Racing’s achievements as a team. I’m very proud to be from New Jersey and to be the first NASCAR Cup Series champion from the state is pretty awesome, as well. All that made today very special.”
Truex’s racing career began in his home state with go-karts and modifieds in the 1990s. In 1999, he won the Turkey Derby Classic at Wall Township Speedway.
Truex won a Cup Series-leading eight races in his 2017 championship season, including the season-finale last November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His post-season honors included being named "New Jersey Sportsperson of the Year". On May 21, 2018, his championship efforts were recognized by President Donald Trump at the White House.
In his championship season, Truex's stats also included 19 top fives and 26 top 10's in the 36-race season.
Truex has been a full-time competitor in NASCAR’s premier series since 2006, first racing for Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Michael Waltrip Racing before joining Furniture Row Racing ahead of the 2014 season. In all, he has made 454-career starts in the series, resulting in 16 wins.
Truex heads into Sunday’s Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, fifth in the championship points standings and with a win at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. In addition to his win, he has eight top-five finishes in the first 13 races of the season.
Prior to his move to the Cup Series, Truex won consecutive championships in the NASCAR Busch (now-Xfinity) Series in 2004 and 2005.