Former NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr. has 'no clue' whether he will retire after this season

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Martin Truex Jr. answers questions during an interview at the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto racing media day at Daytona International Speedway, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It could be months before Martin Truex Jr. figures out his racing future. Truex dragged out his decision until summer each of the last two NASCAR seasons and insisted Wednesday he hasn’t made up his mind regarding 2025.

“I have no idea what I’m doing next year,” Truex said. “I have no clue.”

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The 43-year-old Truex mulled retirement last year until he signed a one-year contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing in August. A year earlier, Truex made his announcement in June.

Truex still has one big goal to reach: winning the Daytona 500.

Truex is winless in 19 starts in the 500, none more agonizing than losing to JGR teammate Denny Hamlin by inches in 2016. Truex doesn’t have a top-10 finish in the 500 since, but he did win the series championship the following year.

Truex has 34 career Cup wins. Joe Gibbs, the 83-year-old team owner, has yet to ask Truex about his plans for next season.

“I think I’m the oldest driver now,” Truex said. “It doesn’t seem like that long ago I was one of the young guys.”

Truex turns 44 in June, just beating out Hamlin for oldest full-time driver in the Cup Series. Hamlin turns 44 in November. Hall of Famer Jimmie Johnson, who is scheduled for nine races this season, turns 49 in September.


Taylor Swift never signed a blank space in Josh Berry’s high school yearbook.

Swift, the global pop superstar who became the talk of this year’s Super Bowl, was a few years ahead of Berry at Henderson High in Tennessee.

Berry, who drives for Stewart-Haas Racing and will make his Daytona 500 debut on Sunday, wished he had Swift sign a yearbook.

“I would have already sold it by now,” he quipped Wednesday at Daytona 500 media day.

Berry said he’d like to at least find Swift in his old yearbooks, which are now with his dad.

“One thing that stands out is I remember her singing in the talent show and we’re being like, ‘Dang, she’s all right,’” Berry said. “You know how talent shows are, right? Sometimes they’re real hit or miss. This, we’re like, ‘Damn, that’s pretty good.’”

Berry said he never knew Swift but had some friends who did.

“Sometimes it gets made that we were like buddies, which is definitely not the case,” Berry said.


Daytona International Speedway forged a partnership this month with Hard Rock Digital to make its Hard Rock Bet app the official sportsbook at the track.

Of course, Hard Rock is the only sportsbook legally allowed to operate in Florida.

The speedway renamed the fan zone The Hard Rock Bet Fanzone and advertising is plastered throughout the area. Hard Rock had one billboard-type ad with a bar code ready to scan for gambler to make a deposit and start betting.

Hard Rock joined FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and ESPN Bet as official sportsbooks for NASCAR.

For the Daytona 500, Hard Rock is taking bets on everything from winning driver and winning race team to top Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota drivers.


David Ragan may have experienced a glimpse into NASCAR’S future. Ragan turned roughly 350 laps in the sanctioning body’s electric prototype at Martinsville Speedway in December.

“The EV car sounds like an EV,” Ragan said. “It goes fast, you can hear the tires squealing and smell the brakes, but you’re not burning any fuel or making any noise. You and I could have a conversation going around the track.”

NASCAR continues to work with its three car manufacturers to figure out the viability of electric or hybrid vehicles as well as alternative fuels like hydrogen. Officials have provided no timetable for making any changes to the series' current Next Gen models.

“It’s inevitable that the transition will come at some point,” Ragan said. “I give NASCAR a lot of credit for planning ahead and not waiting till the last minute to react. They’re just having some fun and learning and figuring some things out.”

It started at Martinsville, a short track that allows EV batteries to regenerate through braking.

“I’m sure it can go 200 mph,” Ragan said. “I will tell you that the acceleration coming off the corner at Martinsville, when the torque and the power’s turned up, I’ve never felt acceleration like that in my life. That’s the fastest I’ve ever accelerated because of the all-wheel drive and the torque.”


J.J. Yeley was a late addition to the Daytona 500.

Yeley will drive the No. 44 Chevrolet for NY Racing Team, a single-car team that still needs to qualify for Sunday's race. He was officially added to the lineup Wednesday, two days after Greg Biffle announced he would not be driving for the team “due to unfulfilled contract obligations from 2022.”

“I have made a hard decision to not participate in any races until the prior contract obligations have been fulfilled,” Biffle said in a social media post. “I wish the team all the best and hopefully I will have the opportunity to race again and win this coveted race.”

Yeley is winless in 378 career Cup Series starts. He last drove in the Daytona 500 in 2015.


Austin Cindric, the 2022 Daytona 500 winner, has dedicated this race to late open-wheel star Gil de Ferran.

De Ferran, the 2000 and 2001 Champ Car champion and the 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner, died following a heart attack in December. De Ferran won his biggest races while driving for Team Penske. Cindric’s father, Tim, has worked for Penske since 1999.

Austin will wear a tribute helmet that highlights several of de Ferran’s accomplishments, including his closed-course speed record of 241.428 mph set at California Speedway in 2000, followed by the words “Forever a Legend.”

“Gil played a large role in my love and passion for racing at a very young age, and he means a great deal to my family,” Cindric said. “Whatever the outcome, I am racing for him this weekend.”


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