Martin Truex Jr. confirmed to reporters Friday night that he will return to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, ending speculation about his racing future. Truex's current contract with Gibbs had been set to expire at the end of 2022, and he had been the subject of retirement rumors throughout the springtime.
Speaking in the Nashville Superspeedway media center, Truex made it clear that he would be back in Gibbs' No. 19 next season, sharing that he and his race team agreed to a new contract that is still being worked on. Truex, who turns 42 next Wednesday, had spent the past six months contemplating his future.
"I wanted to just look at everything and see what it looked like both ways. The competitive side of me said I'm not done and I'm gonna keep fighting," Truex said. "So, here we are."
Truex's 2022 season has yet to match to his recent standards, as he is currently winless and has just two top fives and seven top 10s despite sitting sixth in the points standings. However, Truex expressed that he still wants to race after contemplating what his life would be like if he stopped racing in Cup full-time.
"At the end of the day, it's really all about a fight. If I want to keep going and doing what I've been doing, will I be happy in a year? Is it what I really, really want to do?"Truex said. "And at the end of the day, this is what I really want to do right now."
After winning the Cup Series championship in 2017, Truex has remained a perennial championship contender and one of the top drivers in all of NASCAR. Truex has qualified for the Championship 4 of the playoffs five times since 2015, and he has followed up his Cup title with runner-up finishes in the final standings three out of the last four seasons.
With Truex returning for an 18th full-time season, he will continue to build on his career win total (31 victories) while also pursuing both a second Cup Series title and the things he has yet to accomplish. Truex is one of the notable veteran drivers to have never won the Daytona 500, with his best finish being an agonizing second-place run in the race's closest finish ever in 2016.
While confirming that he would return for 2023, Truex noted that his commitment was currently only for next year. Alluding to the contemplation of his future, Truex said he would "probably" go through the same process about whether he'll race in 2024.