NASCAR: Martin Truex Jr. officially decides on his Cup future

After several years of considering retirement, Martin Truex Jr. has officially made the decision to hang it up at the end of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR / Logan Riely/GettyImages

After contemplating his future for the last several seasons, signing a number of one-year contract extensions with Joe Gibbs Racing along the way, Martin Truex Jr. has officially decided that the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season will be his last.

The 43-year-old Mayetta, New Jersey native, who became the oldest full-time driver in the series after Kevin Harvick decided to bring an end to his 23-year career at the end of the 2023 season, is set to finish out the 2024 season behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota and then turn over the reins to somebody else.

Truex has competed full-time in the Cup Series since the 2006 season, and he has not missed a race since the 2006 season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. His consecutive starts streak of 664, which should grow to 684 by the end of the year, is the longest among active drivers.

Martin Truex Jr. set to retire

After making select starts for the team in 2004 and 2005, during which time he competed for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Chance 2 Motorsports in the Busch Series (and won both championships), Truex competed for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in the Cup Series from 2006 to 2008, and he earned his first victory at Dover Motor Speedway in 2007.

He competed for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2009 and Michael Waltrip Racing from 2010 to 2013, winning at Sonoma Raceway in 2013.

Truex's career really took off after he moved to Furniture Row Racing in 2014. He finished in a career-high fourth place in the 2015 standings with a Championship 4 appearance after securing his third career win at Pocono Raceway, and in 2016, the team formed a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.

In back-to-back seasons, Truex more than doubled his career win total, winning four races in 2016 and eight in 2017. He won the 2017 championship with four wins in 10 playoff races. After he returned to the Championship 4 and finished runner-up in 2018, Furniture Row Racing shut down, and Truex joined Joe Gibbs Racing.

From 2019 to 2021, Truex recorded only a single finish outside of the top two in the point standings, and he won 12 races, including seven in his first year with the team. In 2022, he finished in fourth place in the regular season standings, but his lack of a win, coupled with the surplus of winners, kept him out of the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

Truex bounced back in 2023 with three wins and a regular season championship, but his performance faded down the stretch, specifically throughout the four-round, 10-race postseason, and he ended up with his second consecutive finish outside of the top 10 in the standings.

Through the first 16 races of the 2024 season, Truex finds himself in fifth place in the point standings with four top four finishes and three additional finishes inside of the top 10. His most recent victory came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where the series is scheduled to race next week, last July.

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There is no word yet on who will replace the 19-year Cup Series veteran behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota at Coach Joe Gibbs' organization in 2025.