It is Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports’ loss that he didn’t heed the suggestion Dale Earnhardt Jr. made regarding Martin Truex Jr.
When Mark Martin and Kasey Kahane were thinking of retiring from the Cup Series, Dale Jr. suggested that the owner should sign Truex Jr. as a replacement. Having had an excellent relationship with the HMS owner, Dale Jr. might have thought that Hendrick would try to sign the driver.
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However, the move didn’t materialize and Truex Jr. went on to win the Cup Series championship in 2017 with Furniture Row Racing. Speaking in his Dale Jr. Download podcast, Dale Jr. revealed the details of his trying to get his close pal to the HMS team.
“I hope he races. Me and Truex I consider us to be close pals and man, I begged Rick Hendrick to hire him when he was between drivers. I don’t remember if it was Mark leaving or Kasey leaving, but that was, uh, there was a time when I had a hard time convincing Rick to change the route he was going down and also to understand what kind of a driver Martin was.”
Truex Jr. has 34 victories in the Cup Series in his career. 43 now, he has been having an excellent season, sitting second in the 2023 Cup Series standings after this recent victory on NHMS. That was the third win of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 driver.
Furthermore, the driver has been pondering retirement for two seasons now. And it could be as well his last season. And if that happens to be the case, he is certainly going out with a bang.