An unfortunate turn of events unfolded for Martin Truex Jr. a little over a month ago.
In the wake of the fallout from the Richmond fiasco on September 7th he was put into a bit of a tough spot.
For those that don’t know or have been under a rock for the last month, Truex raced his way into this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup in the closing laps at Richmond.
Little did he know, it was a result of fixing the ending by his organization Michael Waltrip Racing as there was team orders for his teammate Clint Bowyer to spin to bring out the final caution with seven laps-to-go. Next, his other MWR teammate Brian Vickers pitted on the restart, changing the points situation slightly to help Truex make the Chase.
The fallout came when Truex was taken out of the Chase the Monday after and the team was also fined a substantial $300k. From there the team was labeled as cheaters.
The black eye from the situation led to the loss of Truex’s primary sponsor, NAPA, which announced prior to the Chase race in New Hampshire that NAPA would leave MWR following the year citing the actions at Richmond as the reason for the decision.
So without doing anything wrong while his teammates and organization were the ones in the wrongdoing, Truex lost his spot in the Chase, a sponsor and now his ride for 2014. MWR officials released a statement today saying they’re scaling back to two full time teams in 2014 and one part-time.
The two full-time teams are the No. 15 Toyota driven by Clint Bowyer and the No. 55 by Brian Vickers. Both have funding secured for ’14 as the other car will be strictly part-time starting with next February’s Daytona 500 which that car will be driven by Michael Waltrip himself.
This now leaves Truex and his crew chief without jobs for next year unless they want to participate in a part-time gig with MWR. Unfortunately for them most of the rides for next year are already taken.
The only ride open right now is Furniture Row Racing which is his most likely destination unless they go elsewhere with someone like Jeff Burton or one of the younger drivers. Other than that unless a team brings out another car which isn’t likely without a sponsorship, Truex has one option if he wants to stay in Cup.
That’s a really unfortunate situation for a guy who really did nothing wrong.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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