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NASCAR Cup: Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota tops in 2017

Martin Truex Jr. with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Martin Truex Jr. with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season was a storybook season for Martin Truex Jr. and his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota team. After all, Truex and Co. led the series in wins with eight, the most in a season for both team and driver, en route to the 2017 Cup, a first, again, for both team and driver, courtesy of that eighth win in the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19.

The year wasn’t all a bed of roses, though. Truex’s longtime girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, recently began a second round of chemotherapy in her continued fight against ovarian cancer. Crew member James “Jim” Watson passed away after a heart attack in October. FRR owner Barney Visser was unable to attend the 2017 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend as he recovered from a heart attack.

“This means the world,” Truex said of the championship. “Barney Visser — 11 years of working towards this goal. He couldn’t be here tonight, and we’re all thinking of him. Definitely wish he could have been here. I know he’s probably as much in shock as I am. Jim Watson, Cole’s (crew chief Cole Pearn’) best friend (Jacob Damen) and Sherry. This one is for all of you!”

Through it all, Truex and Furniture Row Racing persevered and did so the the utmost class.

Truex was tops of the Cup Series throughout the season. In addition to winning the most races, he thrived under the new stage format, also leading the way in stage wins. His race and stage wins tally combined to keep Truex atop the points standings throughout the year. His 2017 stats also included 19 top-fives and 26 top-10s in the 36 races that made-up the season. Also worth nothing, his points tally was so large, even through the playoffs, because of his stage-win tally, that he clinched his Championship Four berth one race early in the Round of Eight, despite not winning a race in the first two races of the round.

With the 2017 Cup Series title in hand, Truex became the fifth driver to earn championships in both the Cup and Xfinity (known as the Busch Series in Truex’s day there) series. He also is the first Cup champion to hail from New Jersey.

Truex and Furniture Row’s 2017 title also cemented a second-straight manufactuers’ championship for Toyota.

Exactly half of Toyota’s 2017 Cup Series wins (16) came courtesy of Truex. The other three came from the Joe Gibbs Racing trio of Kyle Busch with five, Denny Hamlin with two and Matt Kenseth one.

“Toyota is fortunate to have a great group of Camry drivers and tremendous team partners that allow us to have success on the race track and win accolades like the Cup manufacturers’  championship two years in a row,” Toyota Motor North America Motorsports General Manager said. “To be able to win the title in the first season racing the new 2018 Toyota Camry is truly remarkable and displays the effort TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and Calty Design put into preparing this championship-winning Camry.”

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Posted by on November 21, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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