Martin Truex Jr. announces his retirement

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. announced Friday he will retire from full-time racing at the end of the season, saying it was time to live by his own schedule after 19 years in NASCAR’s Cup Series.

“I mean, it’s as simple as just not having a crazy schedule where, you know, you’re 40 weekends at a race track,” Truex said at Iowa Speedway, where he will be making his 674th Cup start on Sunday. “Everyone in my family, who’s ever gotten married, I’ve missed their wedding. You know what I mean? … You don’t have a life. You’re married to racing, that’s all you do. Monday until Sunday, that’s all you do.”

Questions about possible retirement have followed Truex over the last couple years. The news broke on Thursday — “I don’t even know why I’m here,” Truex joked as he started his news conference — but Truex said he made the decision “a few weeks ago.”

“I was leaning that way most of the season,” Truex said. “I was leaning that direction, but I wasn’t totally sure. So I just took a while to think about it all. It’s a big decision. It affects not just me, it affects a lot of people.”

Truex said it was difficult to tell Joe Gibbs, the 83-year-old owner of Truex’s Joe Gibbs Racing team.

“Coach has been awesome,” Truex said of Gibbs. “He helped me work through it. He would always make a list of pros and cons and his list of pros was always longer than mine.”

“I think the last time I had nine pluses and two minuses,” Gibbs interjected.

Truex has won 34 Cup races, 32 since 2015. He had a career-high eight wins in 2017, when he won the series championship.

Truex also won the 2004 and 2005 Xfinity Series championships, winning 13 races in that series.

“It’s been just absolutely great working with him,” Gibbs said. “I think everybody knows Martin’s reputation — a real gentleman, a great competitor. And it’s obviously something that is going to be a big deal for us, and a big loss.”

“Martin’s a very chill guy,” Brad Keselowski said. “I don’t know what the next chapter of his life will be — I don’t think he knows.”


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