There’s one big question mark in NASCAR‘s Silly Season that’s been answered.
Recently there’s been a lot of speculation over whether Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 car for Joe Gibbs Racing, would hang it up and retire from racing after the 2022 season.
With his current contract expiring after this season, Truex had remained non-committal about returning to the sport in 2023. Add to that the fact that Truex has yet to win a race this year and the fact that his performance in the new Next Gen car has been lackluster so far this season, along with some comments that indicate Martin might not be enjoying racing as much as he used to, and there was quite a bit of speculation that this would be Truex’s final season.
Not to mention the fact that Ty Gibbs, grandson of car owner Joe Gibbs, has three wins in the Xfinity Series already this year and seemed to be a prime candidate to take over the #19 if Truex stepped away…
Well it looks like Ty is either going to have to wait another year or find another ride if he wants to move up to the Cup Series.
Truex Jr. announced today that he WILL be returning to Joe Gibbs racing in 2023, releasing a pretty straightforward statement after today’s practice at Nashville Superspeedway:
Truex Jr. and Joe Gibbs Racing agreed to a one-year contract extension, so he may only be committing to staying in NASCAR for one more year. But according to Truex, he still has the desire to win:
“The competitive side of me said I’m not done and I’m going to keep fighting, so here we are.”
2023 will mark the 18th full-time season in the Cup Series for Truex, who has won 31 races and was the 2017 Cup Series champion.
The announcement also means that Joe Gibbs Racing only has one seat left to fill next year, with Kyle Busch‘s future uncertain as his contract expires at the end of the year and his longtime sponsor M&M’s previously announcing their plans to exit the sport after this season.
Both Gibbs and Kyle have seemed hopeful in recent weeks that they’ll be able to secure sponsorship and work something out to bring Kyle back to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2023.
And once that’s done, with Martin Truex Jr. also returning, it sounds like Ty Gibbs – and anybody else hoping to hop into a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota next season – will just have to wait another year.
Martin Truex Jr. on how Joe Gibbs, Sherry Pollex and his recent championship near-misses influenced his decision to remain at JGR for 2023: pic.twitter.com/LCzjjErOZJ