CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 29: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Toyota, celebrates with champagne in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr. has been through more tragedy and anguish in the past few years than most people have in a lifetime. In most of his tenure in NASCAR, the second-generation driver was known as a journeyman. He’s been consistent, but hasn’t delivered many victories and has been the subject of controversy. In addition, Truex has treaded through obstacles in his personal life. His long-time girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014. After a grueling fight and many surgeries, they announced earlier this year that she was finally cancer free.
In 2013, Martin and Michael Waltrip Racing began the regular season finale at Richmond in need of a good finish and some help to make the chase. Late in the race, Truex’s then-teammate Clint Bowyer arguably formulated a caution while Brian Vickers drove down pit road to help Truex Jr.’s playoff position. As a result, NASCAR handed them a fifty point penalty, and NAPA left the team without a primary sponsor. This would leave Truex without a contract for the 2014 season.
Thankfully, Barney Visser and Furniture Row Racing stepped up and signed the New Jersey native. After a subpar 2014 season, Martin would upset the field and deliver a feel good upset win at Pocono the next year. He carried that momentum all the way to a Championship Round berth and a fourth place points finish.
In 2016, the former Xfinity series champion has won two crown jewel races,  at Charlotte and Darlington.
Transitioning from a journeyman driver to a premier championship contender, he has won multiple races for the first time in his career.
Whether Martin Truex Jr. is a favorite driver or a hated one, his story is that of tragedy and hardship to glory and triumph.