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Martin Truex Jr. to announce retirement

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SONOMA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 8: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, watches during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 8, 2024 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr. will reportedly announce that the 2024 Cup season will be his last. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr.’s NASCAR Cup Series career will end after the 2024 season.

The 2017 Cup champion will reportedly announce Friday that he will retire after the final race of the year in Phoenix. Truex’s decision, first reported by The Athletic, comes after he flirted with the idea of ​​retiring during the 2023 season but ultimately decided to return to the No. 19 car for another season.

Truex, 43, will leave NASCAR with one of the most unlikely stories of greatness in modern Cup history. After winning just three races during the first decade of his full-time career, Truex Jr. has won 31 races since the start of the 2016 season and has finished in the top 10 in the points standings six times. He never finished better than 11th before finishing fourth in 2015.

That 2015 season was his second in Furniture Row Racing. Truex joined the team in 2014 after the collapse of Michael Waltrip Racing, as there weren’t many seats available when MWR lost Truex’s sponsor, NAPA, in the wake of a race-rigging scandal at Richmond.

The partnership of necessity soon became one of excellence, especially after FRR moved to Toyota and formed an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex won four races in 2016 and was victorious in two of the first three playoff races before a blown engine at Talladega ended his title hopes.

Truex and FRR were hands-down the best in 2017, as he won eight times and was nearly flawless in the postseason. Truex won three times in the postseason and had nine top-10 finishes en route to his only Cup title. Truex never finished lower than third in the final five races of the season and won the season finale at Homestead about Kyle Busch.

However, Furniture Row’s spending and success was not sustainable. Less than a year after Truex’s title, the team announced it would close at the end of the 2018 season. And this time, Truex had a top-tier ride ready for him at the end of the season.

After finishing second in the standings in 2018, Truex moved to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019. He won seven races in his first season with the team and again finished second in the points standings.

Since then, Truex has won eight times and was second in the standings in 2021. But he did not win in 2022 and failed to reach the postseason for the first time in 2014.

Thanks to his 34 wins (and counting) and his Cup title, Truex will be a surefire member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in three seasons.

According to the Athletic, Chase Briscoe is the leading candidate to replace Truex in 2025. Briscoe, 29, will be a free agent at the end of the 2024 season because Stewart-Haas Racing is closing.

Briscoe is currently in his fourth season at NASCAR’s top level and has one win and 11 top-five finishes in 124 starts. Briscoe’s best season came in 2022, when he finished ninth in the points standings. It was 30th in 2023, but SHR took a big step back as an organization and Briscoe’s team also took a massive points penalty early in the season.

This season, Briscoe is 17th in the standings and is the highest-ranked SHR driver in Cup.

Truex’s retirement also means a young Cup Series field is getting younger, as Kevin Harvick retired at the end of the 2023 season and Kurt Busch was forced to end his career midway through the 2022 season due to to an injury. Without Truex in the field, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Michael McDowell will be the only full-time drivers 40 and older when the 2025 season begins.

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