With 3rd-place finish at Michigan, the hits just keep on comin’ for Martin Truex Jr.


The state of New Jersey is known for some of the biggest stars in music, including Jon Bon Jovi, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and the late Whitney Houston and Frank Sinatra.

Even though he’s not a musician, you still might want to add Martin Truex Jr. to that list, because the beat just keeps on going for the Mayetta, N.J., native.

And now he’s got a hit record – well, he has a share of it, actually – that was 46 years in the making.

By finishing third in Sunday’s rain-shortened Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Truex became the first NASCAR driver to score 14 top-10 finishes in the first 15 races of a season since Hall of Famer Richard Petty did so to start the 1969 season.

“Really proud to have my name mentioned next to Richard Petty,” Truex said after the race. “The King is pretty special and I am so thankful for my team and what they’ve done this year. Hopefully we’ll keep this thing rolling.”

Truex has been doing a lot of rocking and rolling in 2015 – and that streak continued Sunday. Even though the scheduled 200-lap race was shortened 62 laps by rain, Truex likely would have been in contention for the win had it gone its full distance.

Yet, Truex has reason to be thankful for the rain in a way – with points leader Kevin Harvick finishing 29th, Truex cut his deficit to No. 1 ranked Harvick ain the Sprint Cup standings from 36 points to just 15 points.

“Yeah, just honestly a good weekend for us,” Truex said. “We didn’t qualify as well as we would have liked to, and right at the start of the race we kind of drove up there and got through traffic pretty good, got to the front and felt like we were in good shape.

“Awesome race car and another great job by the team. Just missed it a little bit today.”

As Springsteen would say, these are Truex’s “Glory Days.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski