Martin Truex Jr.
Points Finish 2nd, 4 Wins, 20 Top Fives, 21 Top Tens, 30 Top Twenties, 10.7 Average Finish, 10.4 Average Running Position, 1,016 Laps Led, 101.79 Driver Rating
Martin Truex Jr., the 2017 champ and 2018 runner-up is without question one of the premiere drivers in NASCAR. He’s extremely versatile across the different track types and on “Any Given Sunday” he’s capable of racing his way to victory lane.
This upcoming season he’s moving over to the Joe Gibbs Racing #19. I don’t think that will slow him down too much. He’ll retain his crew chief and have the same equipment so the learning curve should be small. The only downside I can think of is that when he drove for Furniture Row Racing the whole organization was focused on his success and that likely won’t be the case this year.
In 2019 I would look for Martin Truex Jr. to be at his very best at intermediate tracks, road courses and short tracks.
Plate tracks have tripped up Martin Truex Jr. all too often. I would recommend avoiding him at those venues.
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – A
Martin Truex Jr. is an elite performer at intermediate tracks who’ll be a weekly contender in 2019. Things are changing for him, but he should still rank among the best. This upcoming season at intermediate tracks I would look for Truex Jr. to win a handful of races and be a top five contender on most weekends.
Last year at intermediate tracks he had a great season. He won twice, had an 8.1 average finish and an 8.7 average running position. Additionally, he finished in the top five 65% percent of the time and in the top ten 71% percent of the time.
Over the last three seasons his level of performance on this track type has been off the charts. Since 2016 he has a sub 7.0 average finish at Chicagoland, Charlotte, Kentucky, Las Vegas, Kansas, Dover, Darlington and Atlanta. That’s extremely impressive.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – A
Martin Truex Jr. is a strong performer at flat tracks. At both the smaller and the bigger flat tracks he’ll be a contender to win.
At smaller flat tracks he ranks as one of the best drivers and he’s certainly due for a win. Last year over those five events he had a 5.8 average running position, an 8.0 average finish and scored the 4th most points. At Richmond he should prominently be on your fantasy NASCAR radar.
At the bigger flat tracks he’ll be a contender to win at both venues in 2019. At Pocono he’s performed extremely well. He had finished 15th last summer, in the spring he led 31 laps and raced his way to victory lane. In 2017 he had results of 3rd and 6th. At Indy he’s had problems the last two races, but make no mistake he’ll be competitive in 2019 and likely compete for a top five.
Short Track Fantasy Value – A
Martin Truex Jr. is a strong performer at short tracks. At all three short venues he’s a top five contender who’s capable of competing for the win. As Rick Allen will remind you though, “Martin Truex Jr. has never won at a short track!” That fact is true, but he’s certainly been good enough to win a handful of races.
Last year at short tracks he finished in the top five in half the races. In the events he didn’t his race wasn’t incident free.
Richmond is without question his best short track right now and he’s been good enough to win a number of recent races. Over the last five he has the best driver rating, the best average running position (4.4), he’s led the most laps (675) and has a misleading 10.0 average finish. In 4 of those 5 races he led +121 laps or more per race. Last fall at Richmond he finished 3rd and led 163 laps. In spring 2018 he led 121 laps and was a top five contender but had some late trouble on pit road. In fall 2017 he led 198 laps but a late caution with 4 laps to go cost him a certain victory and led to him getting wrecked which caused him to finish 20th.
At Martinsville he’s been very strong and in 4 of the last 5 races he’s finished in the top seven. Over the last three races he’s finished in the top 4. Last fall he started in the rear of the field but nearly raced his way to victory lane. When the checkered flag waved he finished 3rd and led 18 laps. If Logano didn’t have contact with him he would’ve won. In the two races prior to that he had results of 2nd and 4th.
At Bristol he’s capable of performing extremely well, but it has been a trouble spot on the schedule for him. In 4 of the last 5 races he’s finished 21st or worse. Last year he had a pair of 30th place finishes. Last summer he was a top five contender but wrecked while battling for 2nd. Last spring he was caught up in a wreck on lap 4 that doomed him to his poor finish. In summer 2017 he was a top five contender but finished a misleading 21st after having problems on pit road. In spring 2017 he earned the best driver rating, had the best average running position (3rd), led 116 laps and finished 8th. I will note his result is misleading. While he was running in 2nd with 35 laps to go he got a speeding penalty.
Plate Track Fantasy Value – B-
Plate racing hasn’t been a strength for Martin Truex Jr. Since 2016 (12 plate races) he has two runner-up results but eight finishes of 18th or worse. If you’re in an allocation there’s absolutely no reason to pick him because he’s so much better elsewhere.
Last year on this track type over the combined events he had a 17.3 average finish and an 18.5 average running position.
Talladega has been a major trouble spot on the schedule for him. Over the last five races he has a best result of 23rd and a 29.4 average finish. Last year his results were 23rd and 26th.
At Daytona his level of performance hasn’t been high either, but he has snuck in some really good results. Over the last six races he has two runner-up finishes and four results of 18th or worse. Last summer mass chaos ensued and he snuck in a runner-up result. In the Daytona 500 he had a strong car but finished 18th after getting collected in a wreck that brought out the “Green-White-Checker.” With 6 laps to go before he got shuffled out of line and wrecked, he was running in 5th.
Road Course Fantasy Value – A
Martin Truex Jr. is the premiere road course racer in NASCAR right now. Last year he was a threat to win all three races. He won once, had a runner-up and was then robbed of a win. In 2019 I think he’ll be a factor to win all three races.
Last summer at Sonoma nobody was better than Martin Truex Jr. His car was extremely strong over long runs and he easily raced his way to victory lane. In the process he led 62 laps and earned the best driver rating. In 2017 while he was running in 2nd he had engine problems late which led to his 37th place finish. In 2016 he finished 5th.
Watkins Glen has historically been his best road course. Last year he was strong, but not strong enough to beat Chase Elliott. When the checkered flag waved he finished 2nd. In 2017 he raced his way to victory lane.
Last year at the Charlotte Roval he had a phenomenal car and nearly raced his way to victory lane. Unfortunately, Johnson spun him in the final turn which led to his 14th place finish.