One of the biggest names in the silly season fodder ended speculation Friday at Nashville Superspeedway by saying he wasn’t going anywhere. Martin Truex Jr. — the 2017 Cup Series champion — told the media after practice that he’ll be back in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota next season.
Truex was in a contract year with the organization, and over the last six months has been weighing his options.
“There wasn’t one thing; it was everything,” Truex said. “I wanted to look at everything and see what it would look like both ways. The competitive side of me said I’m not done and I’m going to keep fighting, so here we are.”
A new contract is not yet signed but Truex said both sides have agreed to one. It is a one-year deal.
“I tried to think about all of this myself and figure it all out,” Truex said. “Friends and family helped as well. I just wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing.
“I never had my mind [made] up. I just felt like it was an opportunity for me to look at everything and I’ve never really done that before. I always did what I was doing and I wanted to make sure that if I’m going to keep going, I’m going to be happy with that decision. I’ve got the opportunity to do the things on the racetrack I want to do, so yeah, it all feels great. I’m happy. We’ll see what we can do from here.”
Truex told his team the news Friday at the racetrack.
“They were happier than I expected them to be,” Truex laughed. “I didn’t realize what it meant to them for us to all [continue working] together, and the bond we’ve developed, and the friendship. They’re a great bunch. They work really, really hard for me and I always try to thank them, but you never know. It was pretty neat to be a part of that.”
Truex has been a Gibbs driver since 2019 when Furniture Row Racing shut its doors and has won 12 races in the No. 19 car, making the championship four in two of the last three seasons.
The ’22 season is Truex’s 17th full year in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“We’re delighted that our 2017 Cup champion, partner, and friend is back in his Camry TRD for at least another year,” said David Wilson of Toyota.