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CONFIRMED: Martin Truex Jr. Makes Retirement Decision

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What’s Happening?

Martin Truex Jr. announced at Iowa Speedway on Friday that he will retire from full-time competition following the 2024 season. Joe Gibbs said that Truex Jr. would remain with the team as an ambassador, and Truex Jr. hinted that he plans to continue racing, in some capacity. Truex Jr.’s replacement is unconfirmed, but multiple reports indicate that Chase Briscoe is the leading candidate to drive the No. 19 car.

  • Martin Truex Jr. has reportedly been mulling retirement for a few years now. The 43-year-old is the oldest current driver on the Cup Series grid, nearly five months older than the next closest driver, Denny Hamlin. Truex Jr. won the Cup Series Championship 2017 and back-to-back Xfinity Series Championships in 2004 and 2005.
  • Chase Briscoe, the reported favorite to replace Truex Jr., is in his fourth full-time NASCAR Cup Series season. While only having one career win, Briscoe has impressed so far in the final season for Stewart-Haas Racing. He has five top-10s with a best finish of fifth at Darlington while sitting 17th in points, 27 points out of the Playoffs. He is the highest in the point standings of all current SHR drivers.
  • Fans are sad to see Martin Truex Jr. retiring. However, this is far from an unexpected announcement, so many fans are turning their attention to the future of JGR

What Everyone Had to Say

It was an emotional scene in the Iowa Speedway media center as driver Martin Truex Jr., team owner Joe Gibbs, and Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris took turns speaking to the media. In his opening statement, Truex Jr. had plenty of people to thank, including Morris, Gibbs, and everyone he worked with.

I just feel really lucky to be surrounded by a lot of great people over the years, so, to all the guys I’ve worked with, crew members, crew chiefs, team owners, you name it across the board, it’s been a true honor. I’ll miss all of those people for sure, but, I won’t be gone. I’ll be around still. We’re gonna do some stuff together, have some fun, and enjoy life a little bit and wind down.

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs was the next to speak, and he thanked all of the sponsors and partners that have worked with Truex Jr. and the team over the years, including Bass Pro Shops, Auto Owners Insurance, Reser’s, Interstate Batteries, and Toyota. Gibbs also gave insight into Truex Jr.’s future role with the race team.

It’s been absolutely great working with [Martin Truex Jr.]. I think everbody knows Martin’s reputation. A real gentleman, great compettior, and it’s obviously something that’s going to be a big deal for us and a big loss…There’s some good news in all this. The great thing is, Martin is going to continue with us. He’s going to be an ambassador for us, work on different projects and different things. We haven’t talked about all of it yet, but i think there’ll be a lot. If you noticed when he origianlly teed everything up, he said, ‘I won’t be racing full-time’, so, we might be able to talk him into a few things there too.

Joe Gibbs

While Truex Jr. is retiring from full-time competition, this might not be the last time we see him racing on track. Joe Gibbs Racing does have a four-car Xfinity Series program featuring two “All-Star” cars with multiple drivers. Truex Jr. later said he is open to continuing to race part-time in some capacity, but no details were given.

Johnny Morris, CEO of Bass Pro Shops, later jumped on stage to give his parting words to Truex Jr. Bass Pro Shops has sponsored Truex Jr. since he won two consecutive Xfinity Series Championships in 2004 and 2005. Morris also praised the driver highly.

All these 21 years, not one time can I ever think when you [Truex Jr.] did anything to not make us fully proud of you, in every way. With our customers too, you love the outdoors, going to conservation events all the time, and then too, just the excitement of every race, having a chance to win or be up front. Coach [Joe Gibbs], I know you’ve done everything to keep this guy. Martin, no regrets buddy. Just be happy, and know you make all of us so happy, so proud. And I just wanted to come here, not just for me, but everybody in the Bass Pro family, Tracker family, our dealers, everybody, just to say thank you veru much and congratulations on a heck of a career buddy.

Johnny Morris

How Does This Impact the Rest of Silly Season?

Joe Gibbs did not announce the next driver of the No. 19 car, but multiple reports indicate that Chase Briscoe is the leading candidate. Gibbs also never specified if Bass Pro Shops would stay with or leave the team following Truex Jr.’s departure.

Due to both of those factors, this move could have some major effects on the rest of NASCAR’s Silly Season. This includes which drivers could go where, which seats open up, and the implications of Bass Pro Shops being without Truex Jr.

Could Bass Pro Shops start backing Noah Gragson more, and could Briscoe’s potential move open up more doors for SHR drivers? The article below explores these implications in more detail.

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