New Jersey's Truex receives record season payout
By: Thomas Chemris

Martin Truex Jr celebrated his second consecutive NASCAR Busch Series title as the he and his team accepted awards at the championship banquet held at the Portofino Bay Hotel and Resort in Orlando Florida.

Truex who won the championship by sixty-eight points over Clint Bowyer received a record cash payout of $3, 123, 69.00, a single season record. Truex claimed $1,596,404 in race winnings and the remainder garnered from the series points fund and contingency awards. (Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award, Goody's Headache Powder Award, Goodyear Tires, MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award, Mobil 1 Command Performance Award, Sunoco Diamond Performance Award, and the WIX Filters Lap Leaders Award)

In accepting his awards Truex reflected on the past two seasons remembering that it was not too long ago he was not in the National spotlight.

"When I look back it amazes me how all these things could happen to someone so quickly", said Truex. "It makes me realize how fortunate I am and how much I appreciate all the opportunities I've had throughout my life."

Truex went on to thank his team owners, crew chief and crew, indicating that they put him in a position to be champion.

Truex celebrated his championship week touring the state of Florida and meeting with the media culminating in the December ninth banquet.

Truex and his team, including crew chief Kevin Manion will remain together as they move up to the Nextel Cup series next season where he will be competing for Rookie of the Year against his Busch series rival Clint Bowyer

Bowyer who finished second also broke a record for runner up winnings earned $2,114,592.

Bowyer who was also reflective of the changes in his life since he earned a seat in the national series.

"But it's just a couple years ago that I was working in a body shop, wishing and dreaming to be here." noted Bowyer, who will leave his Busch ride for a seat in the cup series.

The night was lucrative all around as sixteen of the top twenty drivers broke the million dollar mark in earnings.

Carl Edwards who finished third in the series and claimed rookie honors thanks Jack Roush for the opportunity.

The banquet is the finale of a season the began almost eleven month ago

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Drivers and team have little time to rest through the year end holiday as team will report to Daytona in January for early season testing and preparation for 2006.