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Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing earn Colorado Sportsperson, Team of the Year honors

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Martin Truex Jr. continues to rack up the honors.

The defending NASCAR Cup champion was named Friday as the 2017 Colorado Sportsperson of the Year by Mile High Sports magazine.

Truex’s photo is on the cover of the current Mile High Sports. He was also named Colorado’s “Fan Favorite” Athlete of the year in a fan vote on the magazine’s website, MileHighSports.com.

In addition, the magazine named Furniture Row Racing as Colorado Team of the Year. FRR president Joe Garone was a finalist for the magazine’s Executive of the Year.

“What Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing did this year was not only unprecedented for the team and the state, but it was hands down the best sports story of the year,” Mile High Sports magazine editor-in-chief Doug Ottewill said in a media release. “What he had to go through personally, what the team had to overcome along the way – all of it made our choice for Sportsperson of the Year an easy one.

“This is our highest honor – the big one, the one that the likes of John Elway, Peyton Manning, Missy Franklin and Chauncey Billups have won – and it thrills me to be able to add Martin Truex Jr. to that list.”

Driver of the No. 78 FRR Toyota Camry, Truex earned a NASCAR Cup series-high eight wins, capped off with a win in the season-ending and championship-deciding race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

He also led virtually every major statistical category.

“Individual honors in a team sport are a result of the people you are surrounded with,” Truex said in a statement. “I feel blessed to be part of an outstanding organization led by our owner Barney Visser, team president Joe Garone and crew chief Cole Pearn.

“These honors represent the hard work by the talented individuals at our Denver race shop. I want to thank Mile High Sports and all our passionate Colorado race fans for the support they have given our team through the years.”

Furniture Row Racing, which calls the Denver, Colorado area home, is the only active NASCAR Cup team based west of the Mississippi River and 1,500 miles from the Charlotte, North Carolina area, where most NASCAR teams are based.

“I guess we have heard ’that’s impossible, you will never do that’ for the last time,” Visser said in a statement. “We are very proud of our Denver roots and to receive these prestigious awards in our home state makes it even more special.

“The Colorado fans have been loyal followers of our team and we are honored to bring a major championship to the state.”

The Colorado honors add to an already lengthy list of awards that Truex, Pearn and Furniture Row Racing have earned, including:

* Truex was recently named New Jersey Sportsperson of the Year.

* For the second consecutive year, Truex was named Eastern Motorsport Press Association Al Holbert Memorial National Driver of the Year.

* AutoWeek magazine named Truex Driver of the Year and Furniture Row Racing was named Team of the Year.

* NASCAR.com named Truex Driver of the Year, Pearn was named Crew Chief of the Year and Furniture Row Racing was named Team of the Year. Truex and longtime partner Sherry Pollex were also awarded Best Moment Off The Track.

* Truex and Pollex were awarded the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Myers Brothers Award.

Magazine names Martin Truex Jr. Colorado Professional Athlete of Year

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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.

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