Martin Truex Jr. named driver of year by Eastern Motorsport Press Association

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After the best season of his Cup Series career, Martin Truex Jr. has received recognition from the Eastern Motorsport Press Association.

The group has named the Furniture Row Racing driver, a native of Mayetta, New Jersey, its driver of the year. This season, Truex’s third season with the team, he won a career-best four races, including the Coca-Cola 600, Southern 500 and two Chase races.

This is the second time Truex has been awarded the EMPA’s Al Holbert Memorial National Driver of the Year trophy. He was given it after winning the Xfinity Series title in 2004.

“My racing roots are in the Northeast and to be recognized by the EMPA takes on a special meaning for the entire Truex family,” said Truex in a press release. “My family has spent many days and nights racing at Northeastern tracks, and that’s why I always feel like I’m going home when the NASCAR series competes at Dover, Pocono and New Hampshire.”

Truex led a record 392 laps in his Coke 600 win and led a career and season high 1,809 laps. He also earned a career-high five poles. He qualified for the Chase for the second year in a row, but came up shorter than in 2015, failing to advance out of the second round.

All this occurred in FRR’s first season with Toyota as its manufacturer.

“Martin had an impressive season, winning two of the triple crown events – the Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500 ,” said Earl Krause, EMPA board member and lead announcer at Pocono Raceway in a press release. “He nearly pulled off NASCAR’s version of the triple crown but came up inches short of winning the Daytona 500. He also had exciting Chase victories at Chicago and Dover. I covered Martin since his early racing days at Wall Stadium in New Jersey, and like his father – Martin Truex Sr. — he has always been a class act both on and off the track.”

Other NASCAR drivers who have been named the EMPA’s driver of the year: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart and Terry Labonte.