NASCAR Insider Slams Joe Gibbs’ Camp for Martin Truex Jr’s “Unheard Of” Tragedy

Published 10/04/2023, 5:55 PM EDT

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A lot has happened in the 2023 NASCAR playoffs as it enters into the second half of the knockout stages. With five races left in the season, there’s still plenty to fight for. Luckily for Joe Gibbs, his three playoff drivers still remain above the cutoff line before the race at Charlotte Roval. However, he would be worried considering the form of Martin Truex Jr.

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It is no secret that Truex Jr raced wonderfully for the better part of the first 26 races with his aggressive and tactical racing. Having said that, his form took a massive dip as he entered into the playoffs. In all fairness, the #19 team has struggled to find their feat so far.

Joe Gibbs and his team remain clueless about solving Martin Truex Jr’s playoff woes

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At the start of the 2023 Cup Series season, Martin Truex Jr had his struggles. While that was momentary, what followed later was a stellar run, showcasing his finesse and experience behind the wheel. With wins at Dover Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, and New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver looked in stunning form.

In fact, he entered the playoffs not only as the regular season champion but also as the favorite to lift the trophy. It is worth noting that Truex Jr failed to qualify for the Round of 16 last year but made amends in some style. However, his form in the playoffs has been more than concerning.

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The 43-year-old has finished 18th, 36th, 19th, 17th, and 18th in the first five races of the playoffs. While Truex Jr has struggled, his team’s performance has been more than questionable. The #19 car has crashed more often than not in the playoffs, posing a massive hurdle to the veteran driver’s title ambitions.

While Truex Jr has been unlucky, NASCAR analyst Kyle Petty felt his team has failed to find a solution. Speaking on the Motorsports on NBC podcast, Petty spoke about the JGR driver’s misfortunes. He said, “I mean that’s just that racing Gods looking down on you and saying you’re out dude.”

However, he couldn’t help but point out an astonishing tragedy about Truex Jr and his team. Petty said, “For a team like that not to even sniff a top 15 in in the first five races of the playoffs, unheard of a regular season champion who hadn’t even seen the top 15.”

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He then spoke about Joe Gibbs’ team and their struggles in solving Truex Jr’s problem. Petty said, “I just don’t know what that problem is and I don’t think they [#19 team] know either because if they did, they would fix it and they’d go in races and that’s how simple it is.”

Despite his own ongoing problems, the 2017 Cup Series champion looks hell-bent on helping JGR bring home the title.

Amid his playoff woes, Martin Truex Jr ensures total support to his JGR teammates

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Before the playoffs, Martin Truex Jr was the leading candidate from Joe Gibbs Racing to go all the way. However, given his poor form and disappointing results, the tides have changed. While both Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin have performed better, Truex Jr doesn’t mind helping his team in any way possible.

Speaking to the media after the Talladega race, the New Jersey-born driver spoke where his commitment lies. He said, “We’ve put a lot of effort in watching the video and looking at all the stuff our engineers gave us at Toyota and JGR. And all the drivers, we all worked together really well and looked at past races and things.

Truex Jr continued, “We’re so committed, we’re all basically on the same team…If we can all make it to the end and be together, we’ll have a really good shot at one of us winning.”

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When the playoffs demand a singular vision unto themselves, Truex Jr showed the wonderful team player he is. While he looks to improve, it would be interesting to see how he does in Charlotte this weekend. The question that remains is, will JGR end up seeing all their three playoff drivers in the Round of 8? Well, only time can answer this.

WATCH THIS STORY: $3.6 Billion Tire Company’s Blunder Cost Martin Truex Jr. His Shot at Another Title

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Written by:

Priyank Mithani

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Priyank Mithani is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports with a passion for motorsports that began in his childhood. Over the years, he has been following the sport meticulously, and his insights are highly respected within the NASCAR community. He is a devoted fan of Kyle Busch and has closely followed his career for years.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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