Outdistancing players on the Broncos, Rockies, Avalanche and Nuggets, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. has been named 2015 Colorado Professional Athlete of the Year by Mile High Sports Magazine.
Truex, who drives for Denver-based Furniture Row Racing, is coming off his best season ever in Sprint Cup racing, advancing to the final four in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs.
Not only did he earn a win at Pocono, Truex also recorded eight top fives, 22 top 10s and led 567 laps. He also was the biggest gainer among Sprint Cup drivers from one season to the next, going from a 24th place finish in 2014 to fourth in 2015.
“On Monday mornings in Colorado, you talk about how the Broncos played on Sunday,” Mile High Sports editor-in-chief Doug Ottewill said. “It’s just what you do. But this year, on more than one occasion, Monday morning included conversations about how well Furniture Row Racing and Martin Truex Jr. did over the weekend.
“The fact that this team got the general sports fan talking about, and interested in, motor sports is remarkable. Truex and his team put our state on the map in a sport where we’d previously had little, if any, representation. That’s a remarkable feat, and it’s exactly why we chose to honor him. Simply put, they were excellent all season long.”
Truex joins a long list of athletes that have received the honor from the magazine including Peyton Manning (Broncos), Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets) and Joe Sakic (Avalanche).
“I am deeply honored to be recognized in the home state of our Furniture Row Racing team,” Truex said in a statement. “Though it will be showcased as an individual honor, the Mile High Sports award would never have been possible if it weren’t for the talented and dedicated group of people at our Denver shop for giving me fast race cars throughout the season.
“Our team owner and Denver native Barney Visser has given us the resources to compete with the top teams of the sport. And Joe Garone, another Denver native, has skillfully guided the program in his role as general manager. Needless to say, our results in 2015 have been a total team effort. I also want to give a shout out to all the Colorado NASCAR fans for their support, which means so much to everyone associated with Furniture Row Racing.”
Mile High Sports Magazine can be found on newsstands in Colorado. The January issue, which honors Truex, will be available Jan. 5. The digital version can be found at milehighsports.com.