Since the beginning of the season in February, there has been non-stop speculation about the future of Martin Truex, Jr., and whether or not he’ll continue his NASCAR Cup Series career beyond November’s season-finale at Phoenix.
Now, as the time of year approaches in which announcements of this nature are usually made, the questions have continued to build week after week for the driver of the No. 19 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Earlier in the weekend, Truex wasn’t having it, responding with “next question” when he was asked about his plans for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. However, after scoring his third victory of the year in Monday’s Crayon 301, the Mayetta, New Jersey-native seemed more receptive to the question.
“I don’t know. I’m not sure,” Truex said, after being asked why not come back. “You know, I was talking out there to Claire, and I was like, this sport isn’t exactly what it appears to be sometimes. It takes a big commitment.”
The 43-year-old driver has been full-time in one of NASCAR’s top-three divisions for two decades, joining the full-time ranks of the NASCAR Cup Series for the first time with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in 2006.
“My team is amazing,” Truex contained. “They deserve the very best driver, the guy that wants it more than anyone else, and I’ve been that guy. I want to make sure that if I come back, I’m willing to do that.
“It’s not just show up at the track, drive the car, go home. It takes a lot of commitment. It’s a lot of travel. A lot of time missing things with family and friends and all those things that I’ve done for 25 years. Do I want to keep doing it and am I willing to sacrifice all those things again for my team?
“So, that’s what I’m thinking about,” Truex mentioned. “I don’t know that running good and winning makes a difference. It would be pretty awesome to win the championship and walk off into the sunset.”
Truex, who picked up his 34th NASCAR Cup Series victory in Monday’s event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, has been with Joe Gibbs Racing as the driver of the No. 19 Toyota Camry since 2019, off the heels of Furniture Row Racing’s shuttering after 2018.
Notably, the consideration of whether Martin Truex, Jr. will return to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2024 has stretched further into the year than last year’s ponderance, which resulted in an official announcement on June 24.
“I’m bad at making big decision,” said Truex. “I told somebody out there, I was like, I’ve been looking at salt-water boats for five, six years. Love to fish, spend a lot of time on the water, and I haven’t pulled the trigger on a boat because I just can’t make up my mind on what I want. I’m just bad at big decisions.”
As for a timeline for his decision – a question which has often accompanied the exclamation that no decision has been made yet – no cut-or-dry answer was given, by either Truex or Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing.
“I think it is though, very important for us to kind of have some pressure here because it’s pressure for all of us. It’s a huge deal for all of us,” said Gibbs. “I’m hoping – I really felt like he’s having such a great year, and I think he’s having fun, and so I’m hoping that we get a good answer for us here.”
That pressure has seemingly been applied, as Truex mentioned Monday he wishes he had some more time to figure out what he wanted to do for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, but says that he doesn’t have that luxury, adding “I’ll know soon and you’ll know soon.”
As for that salt-water boat, Truex says this might finally be the week he finally gets one.