Mom's Decision Allowed Truex Jr. to Pursue Racing Career
May 3, 2016
With Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway being conducted on Mother’s Day weekend, Martin Truex Jr. reflected on how appreciative he is of his mother (Linda) for allowing him to continue to race after she watched in fright her pre-teenage son getting wrecked while competing in a go-kart.
“When I was a kid starting to race go-karts, my dad (Martin Truex Sr.) was racing as well, so a lot of the weekends when I was racing my mom would take me to the track,” recalled Truex. "She was obviously pretty nervous about it at first. Her 10 or 11-year-old kid and she’s like, ‘I don’t want you to do this,’ and we’re racing go-karts – a bunch of kids just being crazy.
"It was one of the first weekends I’d raced and somebody hit me in the back and ended up on top of me basically. The kart was sitting on my head and my mother was pretty freaked out by it. I’m like, ‘Mom, it’s okay. Don’t worry, I’m fine. Look at me.’ She was a mess. It was almost the end of my career, but luckily she let me keep going. She’s a great mom and I would love to call her from Kansas' victory lane with a special Mother’s Day present.”
The go-kart accident that Truex maintains was “no big deal” started a career journey for the New Jersey native, who has advanced into a premier driver in NASCAR elite Sprint Cup Series.
Based on past performances by Truex at Kansas Speedway, the chance of making that call to his mother from victory lane is not out the question.
In the past eight races at the 1.5-mile oval, Truex has two runner-up finishes, four top fives and five top 10s. He also led the most laps in the 2012 spring race (173) and last year’s spring race (95).
“Looking back at the Kansas races, the opportunity was there at least three times of bringing home a victory,” said Truex, who currently ranks ninth in driver points. “I have come so close. Last year at this race we had it won but a late caution and a fuel mileage gamble cost us a victory.”
Truex, who will be driving the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota in the GoBowling.com 400, is looking forward to the upcoming Kansas race.
“With the history I have at Kansas Speedway and how much we have learned as a team, I am excited about going to Kansas with our Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota this weekend,” said Truex. "There is always a wrinkle or two at every racetrack, but the toughest part about Kansas Speedway is how the track changes from practice to the start of the race. That caught us off guard in the past. But the track has aged well and I expect the race to be similar to Atlanta and California.”