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Truex says it "just felt like the right time" to end full-time career

In the end, Martin Truex Jr.’s decision to make the 2024 NASCAR season his last as a full-time decision came down to a feeling – and it wasn’t a bad one.

For the last couple years, Truex has made year-to-year decisions on whether to return the following season – usually putting it off as long as possible.

But the debate was never over performance on the track. Even though he remains without a win so far this year, Truex insisted results played no role.

“We’ve had some disappointments this year, for sure,” he said. “But it’s not enough to make you stop doing what you want to do. Totally not related to performance in any way, shape or form.”

So, what was it? Something more elusive and far more subjective.

“Just felt like the right time for me,” Truex explained Friday at Iowa Speedway. “Honestly, I’ve thought about it a lot the past few seasons and just waited for that feeling in my mind to be positive, like ‘This is okay, I’m good, I want to do something else.’

“Yeah, something just felt different this year for me. I felt like it was time to slow down and do something else. It’s been a great ride.”

It certainly has.

The 43-year-old native of Mayetta, N.J., has enjoyed a Cup career spanning nearly two decades and almost 700 starts.

He has amassed 34 victories at the Cup level – 32 since the 2015 season – and he’s finished worse than fifth in the series standings just three times in the last 10 seasons. He won his only Cup championship with Furniture Row Racing in 2017.

 

Truex’s career includes wins in some of NASCAR’s most prestigious races, including a pair of Coca-Cola 600 victories, a win in the Southern 500 and he owns five road course victories, including four at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

“I would say, I achieved more than I ever thought I would,” Truex said of his career. “That being said, there’s still a lot of heartbreakers, a lot of things you could go back and think about ‘Man, I wish that turned out different.’

“You know, won a championship, three runners-up in this format. That’s, I feel like, really good. I’m proud of what I’ve done. I feel like I’ve given it everything I’ve had, and I feel like I was really, really good at what I did.

“Yeah, I’m happy with that. I’m content. I’m good, I’m happy. I feel good about this.”

Not done racing

He feels so good in fact that he insisted he will still play a role in NASCAR after this season – he just isn’t sure what form it will take.

His team owner Joe Gibbs said Truex would serve as “an ambassador” for Joe Gibbs Racing and he “might be able to talk him into a few things.”

Truex certainly seemed willing to listen.

“I still love racing. I’m still going to race some. I don’t know what, when, how, why, I don’t know any of that yet,” he said. “I’m going to figure it out. I feel very fortunate to be in this position and to be able to make this decision on my own terms.

“It’s something that was always something I wanted to be able to do because there was times in my career where I didn’t know if I was going to have a job the next year or in six months or whatever.

“It’s just a good feeling to be able to make your own way, do the things you want to do and that’s kind of what led me to this.”

Sometimes, it just has to feel right.

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