Martin Truex Jr. to announce retirement

With 34 career Cup victories and a series title, Truex is a sure-fire Hall of Famer

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 08: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 08, 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 at Phoenix. Truex’s decision, first reported by The Athletic, comes after he flirted with the idea of retirement 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 Series history. After winning just three races in the first decade of his full-time career, Truex 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 he was fourth in 2015.

That 2015 season was his second at Furniture Row Racing. Truex joined the team in 2014 after the downfall of Michael Waltrip Racing, as there weren’t many open seats available when MWR lost Truex’s sponsor, NAPA, in the wake of a race manipulation 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 indisputably 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 on the way to his only Cup Series title. He never finished lower than third over the final five races of the season and won the season finale at Homestead over Kyle Busch.

Furniture Row’s spending and success weren't sustainable, however. Less than a year after Truex’s title, the team announced that it would shut down 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, he 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 he was second in the standings in 2021. But he was winless in 2022 and failed to make the postseason for the first time since 2014.

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

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

Briscoe is currently in his fourth season at NASCAR’s top level, and he 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. He was 30th in 2023, but SHR took a big step back as an organization, and Briscoe’s team also received a massive points penalty early in the season.

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

Truex’s retirement also means a young Cup Series field gets younger, after 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 injury. Without Truex in the field, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Michael McDowell will be the only full-time drivers aged 40 or older when the 2025 season begins.