Possible JR Motorsports Cup drivers: No. 3 – Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. has been a driver at the center of attention in terms of off-track activity over the past few weeks. The 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion entered 2022 in a contract year with Joe Gibbs Racing, and many believed that retirement was imminent.
But Truex instead announced he would return to the #19 Toyota for 2023, prior to the race weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. Later that week when Dale Earnhardt Jr. mentioned that JR Motorsports wanted to enter the Cup Series, he specifically noted that he hoped Truex would help to start the team.
Dale Jr. and Truex have a relationship that dates back to the early 2000s. Dale Jr. gave Truex his first opportunity in the big leagues when the two paired up at Chance 2 Motorsports, an Xfinity Series team founded and owned by Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Jr. following the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Truex competed under the Chance 2 Motorsports banner six times in 2003 and went on to bring the team to two championships in 2004 and 2005. At that time, Chance 2 Motorports dissolved and Truex moved to the Cup Series behind the wheel of the #1 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as Dale Jr.’s teammate. He competed for the team from 2006 to 2008.
With at least one more full season with Joe Gibbs Racing in Truex’s future and no current indication that he’d be interested in running with JR Motorsports in 2024, there is really no telling whether Dale Jr.’s wish could come to fruition. But there is still time.