The 2017 Cup Series champion has just answered the biggest question of NASCAR’s Silly Season. Martin Truex Jr. has revealed that he will forego retirement in order to return to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2023 season and pursue his second championship.
JGR announced the news with a simple tweet on June 24. The straightforward message featured three words, “I’m coming back.” Truex then met with media members at Nashville Superspeedway and provided further context for his decision. He noted that Coach Joe Gibbs is “pretty good” at convincing people, and then he said that he feels like he can still contend for a championship.
Truex is currently in his 17th season as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver. He has made 601 starts, and he has posted 255 top-10 finishes with 131 top-fives. Truex also has made 31 trips to Victory Lane and ended the 2017 season as the Cup Series champion. Now he will finish out the 2022 campaign before returning for another run in 2023.
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This Decision Makes Waves Across NASCAR
With Truex making this major decision, he has now provided major clarity about the 2023 season. When he was trying to make up his mind about whether to return, there were conversations taking place about which drivers would replace him in the No. 19 JGR Toyota Camry.
The obvious choice frequently mentioned was Ty Gibbs. The grandson of Joe Gibbs is currently competing full-time in the Xfinity Series, and he has reached Victory Lane seven times. The team has remained open about keeping him in the series for another year, but Truex possibly retiring could have changed this conversation.
The other potential option mentioned was Tyler Reddick. Richard Childress Racing has an option for him that covers the 2023 season, but there was a scenario where JGR attempted to woo him away to the Toyota Racing Development family.
The No. 19 Toyota is no longer available now that Truex has confirmed his return. Now the biggest question at Joe Gibbs Racing is Kyle Busch. Will the team be able to secure a primary sponsor for the No. 18 and sign the two-time champion to a new deal?
What About Other Cup Series Seasons?
Truex answered one major question about his NASCAR future, which immediately created even more. What does his return in 2023 mean for the 2024 Cup Series season? Truex responded to this question by laughing and saying that it took him six months to make this decision about his future. He needs at least another six months before deciding on 2024.
What is the reason for the indecision? Truex put it very clearly. He explained that he loves the camaraderie, the competition, and pursuing a common goal with the team members at Joe Gibbs Racing. However, the 38-week grind is the part that made him think about possibly walking away.
There will be a time in the future when the time on the road and the sacrifices required will not be worth it. That time has not yet arrived. Truex confirmed that he is willing to deal with this trade-off for the 2023 season.
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Great!! so happy to hear this! You still got it and you will do it!!