Martin Truex Jr. has not yet made an announcement regarding his future in the NASCAR Cup Series, but that could change soon.
One of the key focal points of NASCAR Cup Series silly season, especially over the last month or so, has been the future of Martin Truex Jr.
The driver of Joe Gibbs Racing’s #19 Toyota has long said that he has no need to continue driving and simply does so because he enjoys it and feels that he is competitive enough to do it at a high level.
Truex is in a contract year this season, the first season of the Gen 7 car, and has admitted on multiple occasions that he isn’t sure whether he will return for what would be an 18th full season in the Cup Series — fifth with Joe Gibbs Racing—in 2023.
Unlike the ongoing situation with Kyle Busch, however, the decision is truly up to him.
He recently spoke about the matter ahead of the inaugural Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway three Sundays ago, the race which marked his 600th career Cup Series start.
“I think about it every day. We’re working on it. I should know something soon. … It’s a big decision and a lot of factors. I would say within a couple weeks, you guys will know what I’m doing. Everybody asks me, but I still don’t have any news. I’ll let you know when I find out.”
Those comments are similar to the comments he made toward the end of the March when asked about the matter, though this time around, he did say that we would know his decision “within a couple weeks”.
He made that statement 18 days ago now. So is a decision imminent?
One would think that, given the fact that this past weekend was the first and only off-weekend of the 2022 season, it would make sense for him to announce his decision prior to the start of the upcoming stretch of 20 consecutive race weekends to close out the year.
Truex did say back in March that he expected to receive more and more pressure from the team to make a decision the longer he waited, and with the off-weekend now in the books, they will surely want to know what, if anything, they will need to do in regard to filling the seat of the #19 Toyota for next year.
Does Truex want to continue?
The 2022 season has been somewhat of a struggle for the 41-year-old Mayetta, New Jersey native. While he sits in sixth place in the point standings through 16 races, he has not finished higher than fourth in any individual race.
Without a win, he sits in just 14th place in the playoff picture. He ranks only 12th in laps led, sits in a ninth place tie in top 10 finishes, and sits in a 17th place tie in top five finishes.
This relatively lackluster start to the 2022 season comes after a six-year span during which Truex won at least four races five times, and on four of those five occasions, he finished in the top two in the championship standings, including in 2017 when he won the title with Furniture Row Racing behind the wheel of the #78 Toyota.
It’s very possible that Truex and the team already know what the answer is and that a public confirmation is the only thing left to be made. But whether that is the case or not, a public confirmation should be on its way in the very near future.