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President Trump honors Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 team at White House

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President Donald Trump praised the performance of Martin Truex Jr. and his team, thanked NASCAR Chairman Brian France for his support and lauded the sport’s patriotism in a ceremony Monday at the White House honoring Truex’s 2017 Cup title.

President Trump was accompanied to the ceremony by Truex and Sherry Pollex, Truex’s longtime girlfriend.

President Tump noted that “the entire NASCAR field spent 2017 chasing (No.) 78. I’ll tell you, I’d be watching and they would be chasing you.’’

He later said: “Never giving up is a story of the 78 team and is a story that will forever be told in NASCAR.’’

President Trump acknowledged crew chief Cole Pearn.

“Chief, pretty tough job, right?’’ President Trump said.

President Trump also praised Pollex.

“I also want to take a moment to recognize the amazing Sherry Pollex,’ he said. “She is the love of Martin’s life. As many of you know Sherry has bravely battled ovarian cancer. She is an incredible woman. Sherry, you’re determination in the face of adversity has been an inspiration to millions of Americans who know what you’re going through. … You are SheryStrong and we are praying for you, and we’re deeply honored to have you here today.’’

President Trump spoke about France, who attended the ceremony.

“My good friend Brian France is here,’’ said President Trump, who was endorsed by France at a Feb. 2016 rally in Georgia. “He is doing a fantastic job. I’ve had him for my friend for a long time, Martin, you wouldn’t believe that right? Different sides, different states slightly, but we liked each other right from the beginning.

“Brian, thank you very much for being here. Congratulations on everything that has happened. … Brian has been with us since the beginning like so many others that love NASCAR. He’s been really a supporter right from the beginning. He said, we support Trump and so I want to thank you very much Brian. That was incredible. That meant a lot, thank you.’’

President Trump noted the sport’s patriotism.

“This lively sport reflects our national spirit and our can-do attitude,’’ he said. “At every NASCAR race, you will see thousands of patriotic Americans from the grandstands to the pit stalls proudly waving our flag and roaring with joy at the words ‘Start your engines’

“I will tell you one thing that I know about NASCAR. They do indeed, Brian, stand for the playing of the national anthem. Right? They do indeed. Somebody said ‘Maybe you shouldn’t say that, that will be controversial.’ I said, ‘That’s OK NASCAR is not going to mind it at all,’ right fellas? They don’t mind it at all.’’

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Martin Truex Jr. Foundation provides $1.2 million gift

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The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation announced a $1.2 million gift Wednesday to Novant Health to establish the Novant Health Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Children’s Emergency Department in Huntersville, North Carolina, and the SherryStrong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The announcement was made during the 9th annual Catwalk for a Cause fundraising event Truex and partner Sherry Pollex host.

“This remarkably generous gift from the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation will help Novant Health strengthen our community by ensuring cancer patients achieve optimal health and healing and children have access to life-saving emergency services,” said Dr. Andrew Mueller, senior vice president of Novant Health and president of the greater Charlotte market, in a statement.

The Novant Health Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Children’s Emergency Department is scheduled to open in 2019 and designed to meet the needs of children and their families. The department will include a colorful waiting room, a triage room, nine private exam rooms and the most advanced child-sized medical equipment.

The Novant Health SherryStrong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic will be housed in the new John M. and Claudia W. Belk Heart and Vascular Institute and Edward I. and Agnes B. Weisiger Cancer Institute that is under construction and scheduled to open in 2020. 

In 2014, Pollex was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. She launched SherryStrong.org in May 2016 to empower women to know their bodies, recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer and learn how integrative and holistic practices may complement conventional medicine.

“Sherry and I are incredibly proud to partner with Novant Health to make a meaningful impact on patients while supporting causes that have touched our hearts and our lives,” said Truex in a statement. “We hope that our contributions will provide healthy and positive outcomes for adults living with cancer and children who need specialized emergency medical care.”

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Sherry Pollex completes chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer

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Sherry Pollex announced on Twitter that she has completed chemotherapy treatments for her recurrence of ovarian cancer.

The long-time girlfriend of 2017 Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. tweeted from the hospital following her last treatment.

Pollex had been cancer free for over a year following her initial fight with Stage III ovarian cancer. That fight, which began in August 2014, ended in January 2016. The cancer returned over the summer.

Pollex missed two of Truex’s wins in 2017 due to her treatments. She was absent in July at Kentucky Speedway due to surgery and missed the fall race at Charlotte Motor Speedway while she recovered from a chemo treatment.

NASCAR celebrates its new champion, a thankful Martin Truex Jr.

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Martin Truex Jr. celebrated his Cup championship Thursday night by thanking those who helped him reach the sport’s pinnacle.

Truex was honored at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Awards at Wynn Las Vegas.

Before his moment, close friend Dale Earnhardt Jr. introduced the champion.

“Tonight we celebrate our championship driver,’’ Earnhardt said. “But to me and many who know him, he’s a champion in so many ways. Like when his professional career turned challenging, his options limited, he blamed no one. He kept his head high, he persevered because he’s a champion person.

“While the love of his life battles the most evil of diseases and he stands with her to make her fight his fight, he’s a champion partner.

“When he’s away from the track, perhaps enjoying his true passion for hunting or fishing, you realize this, he’s a champion friend. He’s the man. The champion in so many ways and no one more deserving of this night.’’

Truex started his speech by thanking his parents and family.

“Dad we did it!’’ Truex said.

“This is a childhood dream for me. The 78 race team has carried the same motto throughout the season and that’s ‘never give up.’ No one has lived that out more than my life partner Sherry. As we all know, Sherry was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014. Today, she is still fighting her disease with tenacity and a never-give-up attitude that inspires millions of people to do the same. She is the true champion.’’

Sherry Pollex’s health battles were only part of what Truex and members of Furniture Row Racing faced throughout the year. Truex noted that this “has been an emotional journey.’’

When he got to car owner Barney Visser, who was unable to attend as he recovers from bypass surgery after a heart attack in early November, Truex said: “Barney Visser is the heart of this team. People thought he was crazy 12 years ago starting a NASCAR team in Denver. Barney, who is crazy now?’’

After thanking others on the team, Truex asked the crowd to raise a glass and offer a toast to Jim Watson, the crew member who died the night before the Kansas race in October.

“Here’s to you ‘Wild Man,’ ’’ Truex said. “Cheers.’’

Truex went on to congratulate Matt Kenseth on his career, thanked the fans and many others before turning his attention to Earnhardt.

“To my buddy and hunting partner Dale Jr. … I wouldn’t be here without Dale,’’ Truex said. “He gave me my first break in NASCAR. I’m damn sure going to miss racing with him on the race track but we are going to spend a lot of time together away from the race track, and I look forward to that. Congratulations on an amazing career.’’

Truex finished his speech by talking about Pollex.

Finally, back to the love of my life,’’ Truex said. “No, not racing. Sherry. Babe, I love you and thank you for the change you’ve caused in my life. You’re an inspiration to all of us in this room. And winning is a great feeling, but spending my life with you is the real victory.’’

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NASCAR America: Las Vegas happenings, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney & Best of Scan All

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Carolyn Manno and Parker Kligerman are on today’s NASCAR America, which airs from 6 – 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

They’ll discuss:

  • Martin Truex Jr. and girlfriend Sherry Pollex have put their full efforts into raising awareness and funding for research of pediatric and ovarian cancers. Today, they were honored with the prestigious Myers Brothers Award as Champion’s Week continued in Las Vegas. You’ll hear from them both as they reflect on Truex’s championship after the checkered flag fell in Miami a few weeks ago.
  • This year’s Playoff drivers are in Vegas to celebrate the end of the season, including two future title contenders in Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney. Today, we caught up with both of them to see how they’re enjoying the festivities and how they’re already looking ahead to next season.
  • And we’ve packed all of the best radio sounds from this season into a must-listen, must-see Best of Scan All!

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at a special start time of 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.