This is bound to spark joy for every Martin Truex Jr. fan in the world — Cole Pearn will be a part of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team this weekend in the Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
No, Pearn will not be serving as Truex’s crew chief, a pairing that combined for 24 NASCAR Cup Series victories in a five year stretch and the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series championship. Truex has had a different crew chief for the past two seasons, James Small. That pairing has led to five wins for Truex, the New Jersey-native.
Instead, Pearn will be an additional spotter for Truex this weekend, according to NASCAR’s Team Roster Portal. Pearn will support Truex’s full-time spotter, Drew Herring, at the 17-turn Charlotte Roval.
Pearn was regarded as one of the most intelligent crew chiefs in the business, but he shocked the world by retiring from being a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief following the 2019 season. Pearn would move back to Canada and take on ownership of a ski lodge.
Could this weekend help reignite that competitive fire for Pearn? Or is he simply helping out an old friend?
Time will tell, but Pearn has proven to be as enigmatic as he is brilliant. So, who knows.
Regardless, it’ll be an interesting storyline to keep an eye on this weekend as the 38-year old Canadian returns to the sport, even if it’s not in the capacity of being a crew chief.