NASCAR: Major Joe Gibbs Racing decision coming ‘soon’

Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

Over the weekend, Martin Truex Jr. gave an update on his contract situation with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

While much of the attention surrounding Joe Gibbs Racing this silly season has been what is going to happen to Kyle Busch for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, Martin Truex Jr. is also without a deal to compete beyond the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.

In late March, Truex stated that a decision would be coming “pretty soon”, but in two-plus months since then, nothing has been announced.

The reason for that is simple: the driver of the #19 Toyota still doesn’t know what his plans are for 2023.

Here is what Truex had to say about the matter over the weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, where he made his 600th career Cup Series start on Sunday afternoon.

"“I think about it every day. We’re working on it. I should know something soon. … It’s a big decision and a lot of factors. I would say within a couple weeks, you guys will know what I’m doing. Everybody asks me, but I still don’t have any news. I’ll let you know when I find out.”"

Unlike the situation surrounding Busch, Truex’s decision is truly up to him. While Busch is losing M&M’s as a primary sponsor following the 2022 season, there is nothing to suggest that Truex’s sponsors are planning to pull out of the sport.

Truex has long said that he doesn’t need to compete in the Cup Series and he does so because he enjoys it and he feels that he is capable of competing at a high level.

The 41-year-old Mayetta, New Jersey native has certainly backed that up in recent years, winning at least four races in five of the final six seasons in the Gen 6 car and finishing in the top two in the championship standings in all four of those five seasons, including in 2017 when he won the championship behind the wheel of the #78 Toyota for Furniture Row Racing.

To start off the Gen 7 era, Truex hasn’t been particularly impressive, however, and many believe that he wanted to get a good feel for the car first before making a decision on his future.

If not for his crash at Phoenix Raceway, he may very well be sitting in second place in the point standings as opposed to fifth. Even still, he hasn’t exactly been a standout, finishing no higher than fourth in the season’s first 15 races and recording just one other top five finish and five more top 10 results.

So does he feel that he still has what it takes to win at NASCAR’s top level in the new car, or will he decide that it’s best to move on after 2022?

Joe Gibbs Racing will obviously want to know his decision before too long so they can plan for 2023 as well, and he is well aware of that.

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With so much uncertainty already surrounding Busch, plus the team’s apparent reluctance to promote Ty Gibbs after just one full season in the Xfinity Series, it is safe to assume that they would very much like to have him back for a fifth season behind the wheel of the #19 Toyota next year.