Martin Truex Jr. had to wait more than a decade for his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship, but the way in which he won it made it worth the wait.
Truex recently said that beating Joe Gibbs Racing to become the first Cup champion of the Monster Energy era made the title feel that much more special, according to Motorsport.com.
Furniture Row Racing and JGR’s technical alliance sees them utilize the same equipment, but even Joe Gibbs driver Denny Hamlin has admitted the No. 78 was on another level all season.
“There’s no doubt about it, we couldn’t be here without Gibbs and all those guys there that are part of our program and we share information with and they build our chassis and TRD building our engines, all that,” Truex said. “We couldn’t do any of this without all of that. But to be able to take all their stuff and beat them with it is pretty damn awesome.”
Based on the strength of Toyota, JGR and FRR throughout 2017, Truex and Kyle Busch had looked like favorites to make it to the championship four at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But nobody could have predicted a 20-lap shootout between the two drivers at the end of the Ford EcoBoost 400 would decide the title.
For the driver of the No. 78, the battle was the cherry on top of his remarkable season, as it showed that he could fend off a former champion without a mechanical advantage.
“We definitely couldn’t be here without them, but damn, it feels good to go faster than Kyle and just to beat him felt pretty damn awesome,” Truex told Motorsport.com.
Getting past the No. 18 squad to win the title is far from the only thing Truex has to be proud of, however. The New Jersey native also won multiple races this year while he, his crew chief and/or FRR as a whole were dealing with personal losses.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images
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