Martin Truex Jr. will hit a major milestone in his racing career this weekend, as he'll make his 600th start in the NASCAR Cup Series. And that milestone comes at a time where his racing future is less than certain.
Midway through his 17th full-time season in Cup, speculation has been rampant about Truex Jr.'s future in NASCAR, as the 2017 Cup Series champion has been the subject of retirement rumors as his current contract with Joe Gibbs Racing comes to a close. According to Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic, Truex's team is giving him time to think about his future but is looking for a decision to be made before too long so they can plan accordingly for 2023.
Speaking to the media at World Wide Technology Raceway on Friday, Truex Jr. acknowledged he is contemplating his future in racing, sharing that he is currently "tormented" trying to decide whether to continue in Cup or step away.
"I think about it every day. We're working on it. I should know something soon," Truex Jr. told reporters on Friday. "It's a big decision, a lot of factors. I would say that within a couple weeks, you guys will know what I'm doing."
A full-time Cup driver since 2006, Truex Jr. has been the championship runner-up three out of the last four years and has remained very competitive this season, finishing in the top-five twice and top-10 seven times. But at nearly 42 years old, Truex Jr. acknowledged it is a "fair statement" to say that quality of life is more of a consideration than his finances.
The uncertainty surrounding Truex Jr. adds to an already complicated business situation for Joe Gibbs Racing,. Busch is seeking a new contract from Gibbs as the team looks for a new sponsor to replace M&M's, which is leaving NASCAR at the end of the season.
Whatever Truex Jr. decides to do, his legacy as one of the top drivers of his generation is secure. Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2017, and his 31 career wins rank 28th on NASCAR's all-time wins list.