Triumph for Martin Truex Jr. at Pocono proves he’s more than just a good story in 2015

Image courtesy of @TalladegaSuperS.

The 2015 season for Martin Truex Jr. is so much more than just his win at Pocono. What that victory secured, however, was more important than any standout result he’s pulled off this season.

Remember the start of the season when Martin Truex Jr. reeled off an eighth-place finish at Daytona? Nearly every NASCAR analyst took notice, saying that Truex was a “good story” after a trying 2014 season. Then he clinched another top 10 in Atlanta followed by five more before Bristol.

It was clear that Truex was a contender for a Chase spot. On Sunday at Pocono, he sealed that spot with the third victory of his career. While it wasn’t his first, Truex didn’t have a difficult time ranking it on his all-time list.

“This is easily the biggest win of my career,” Truex said. “… We’ve gone head to head with the big guys and we’ve been right there with them.”

That’s part of what makes this so magical for NASCAR fans. Not only is Truex reinvigorating his career, but he’s doing it with a single-car team. Prior to this year, Furniture Row Racing had just one win with Kurt Busch behind the wheel, who also earned the team’s only Chase berth in 2013.

Good fortune seems like a given for Truex and Furniture Row these days. But it wasn’t always that way.

In 2013 at Richmond, Truex had his NAPA sponsorship pulled after a controversial finish at Richmond and was removed from Chase contention. That’s not something he’s easily forgotten, saying on Sunday, “This should be my fourth [Chase], right? As long as they don’t kick me out between now and then.”

What came next for Truex was heartache on the track and off it.

The No. 78 team struggled in 2014 with just one top five and one lap led the entire year. Then last summer Truex’s longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Everything that could go wrong for Truex was going wrong.

Fast forward back to Sunday afternoon. After three straight weeks of leading the most laps in every points race, Truex finally got the breakthrough win he needed.

Not only was Truex able to celebrate in Victory Lane with his crew chief Cole Pearn and former DEI teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., but he was able to hold Pollex. What followed was a touching moment just days after her recent chemotherapy session.

“Oh, my God,” Pollex said, via Mike Hembree of USA Today. “We have been through so much. …

“I’m so excited for Martin and his team and everything they’ve been through and everything we’ve been through personally. It’s just amazing. These guys deserve it. They’ve had the best car four weeks in a row, and they brought it home.”

Everything finally seems to be going right for Truex. And with his win on Sunday in Pocono, it finally appears he can start looking ahead to the Chase.

A year after everything went wrong, Truex is so much more than just a “great story” in 2015.

 

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