Martin Truex Jr. won the 2023 regular season championship on Saturday night at Daytona and earned the crucial 15 playoff points that are awarded to the champion.
JGR driver Martin Truex Jr. won the 2023 Cup Series Regular Season Championship on Saturday, August 26, despite coming in 24th in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway, which served as the season’s last regular-season race.
Truex won the NASCAR regular season championship and the 15 extra playoff points before the race even ended. That equates to three points earned from victories. Since the award’s inception in 2017, only Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch have won multiple regular-season championships.
Martin Truex Jr. emerged from a crash involving Ryan Blaney, Ty Gibbs, and the greater part of the field with enough stage points and a lead over Denny Hamlin to win the championship.
The Mayetta, New Jersey native who won the 2017 Cup Series entered the regular season’s last race with a 76-point lead over William Byron and a 39-point lead over teammate Denny Hamlin. After lining up on the grid in position 13, Truex patiently worked his way to the front in the draft and engaged in a battle with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates in the final laps of the opening stage.
Afterwards, on the penultimate lap of the opening stage, Truex was successfully able to overcome teammate Denny Hamlin over the backstretch. And with the aid of teammate Christopher Bell’s drafting, Truex was able to surge to the lead and win his sixth stage in the 2023 campaign, earning an additional 10 stage points.
After moving into the top 10 midway through the final stage, Truex was ultimately pushed to the middle of the field, where he would remain for the final part of the race.
Truex managed to bring his No. 19 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Toyota TRD Camry to the finish line in 24th place, which was enough for him to win the regular-season championship by 48 points over teammate Hamlin and 64 points over William Byron.
With his achievement, Truex became the second driver, after former teammate Kyle Busch, to win two Cup Series Regular Season Championships in a season that saw him earn three victories (at Dover Motor Speedway in April, Sonoma Raceway in June, and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July)
Additionally, Truex has clinched one pole, nine top-five finishes, fifteen top-10 finishes, 832 laps led, and an average finishing position of 11.4 over the 26 races that made up the regular season.
Given a 15-point Playoff bonus for winning the regular season this year, Truex enters the 2023 Cup Series Playoffs tied with William Byron for the top slot in the Playoff standings with 2,036 points.
He is one of the 16 drivers who will battle it out in a 10-race stretch in the hunt for the 2023 Cup Series championship, starting at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina, on September 3rd.
In addition to his single championship in 2017, Truex has made 647 Cup Series starts and has amassed 34 victories, 21 pole positions, 142 top-five finishes, 278 top-10 finishes, 12,125 laps led, and an average finishing position of 15.1. He will be aiming for his second premier series championship in 2023.
The Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is the first race in Martin Truex Jr.’s quest for a second NASCAR Cup Series title on September 3. The USA Network will begin airing coverage of the event at 6 p.m. ET.