Truex enters the Phoenix weekend with 624 career Cup Series starts. 399 have been with Toyota Racing. When he takes the green flag on Sunday, March 12, he will hit 400 starts in a Toyota Camry, which represents the most successful period of his NASCAR career.
Truex actually started his Cup Series career in a Chevrolet. He made select starts for Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2004 and 2005 before he joined the team full-time in 2006. He remained with the organization as it merged with Chip Ganassi Racing, and he continued to drive the No. 1 until the end of the 2009 season.
Truex’s time with a Chevrolet-affiliated team came to a close after he finished 23rd in the 2009 championship standings. He then moved over to Michael Waltrip Racing and began driving the No. 56 Toyota Camry.
This Move Kicked Off a Successful Tenure
The move to Toyota Racing has paid dividends for Truex, just not all of the time. For example, his tenure with Michael Waltrip Racing featured some strong performances, but he dealt with issues that kept him mostly winless.
Truex won his first career Cup Series race while driving for Chevrolet and DEI. He added his second win during the 2013 season while driving for Toyota and Michael Waltrip Racing. He captured the event at Sonoma Raceway after leading nearly half of the laps.
The 2013 season featured Truex winning his second career race, but it also saw NASCAR issue an unprecedented penalty to the organization after allegations of “attempting to manipulate the outcome of a race” at Richmond in 2013. NASCAR pulled Truex out of the Chase, docked the team’s three drivers 50 points each, and issued a $300,000 fine to Michael Waltrip Racing.
Truex departed Michael Waltrip Racing after the 2013 season, and he moved over to Furniture Row Racing. He remained with the Colorado-based organization through the end of the 2018 season, and he delivered significant success. He won 17 races and the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series championship while working alongside crew chief Cole Pearn.
Furniture Row Racing ultimately shut down after the 2018 season. Truex landed at Joe Gibbs Racing, where he has remained ever since while adding another 12 wins to his resume. He has reached the playoffs three more times and finished second in the championship standings twice.
Truex Returns to a Site of a Previous Win
Truex has achieved extensive success as a member of Toyota Racing, and he will have an opportunity to continue this during a trip to Phoenix Raceway. He will pursue his 32nd career win at the site of a previous celebration.
The New Jersey native has made 34 career Cup Series starts at Phoenix Raceway. One has resulted in him celebrating in Victory Lane. He captured the 2021 spring race after leading 64 laps and holding off Joey Logano over the final 25 laps.
This win put Truex into the playoffs, and it kicked off another successful campaign. He went on to win three more races before reaching the championship four.
Truex was also within reach of his second championship, but a late caution put Kyle Larson out front for the final 28 laps. The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota ultimately crossed the finish line second and ended the year second in the championship standings.