Martin Truex Jr. happy with results on, off track

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Last season is one Martin Truex Jr. would like to forget.

And the way the the past several months have gone, he's well on his way.

On the track, Truex has gone from having five top-10 finishes and missing the Chase to ending his 69-race winless streak with a victory at Pocono last weekend, his 13th top-10 finish in 14 races, and sitting second in the points race.

But even more important is what's happening off the track.

During his first year with Furniture Row Racing, Truex dealt with the stress of his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex being diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer. She had surgery last August.

"I know it's kind of a crazy thing to say, but I think that as bad as it was, if I had the opportunity to say today if I could change it so none of that stuff ever happened, I'm not sure I would," said Truex, who will turn 35 this month. "It's kind of changed me, made me a better person, made me understand life a lot more, made me appreciate the things I do have more.

"And honestly, as long as Sherry stays healthy from here on out I think it's weird to say, but it's almost a blessing in disguise."

As for Pollex, she is "doing great," Truex said.

He said she goes through chemotherapy once a month through February.

"But she's doing awesome, and really honestly back to her normal life that she had before the cancer," Truex said. "Again, just pray that she stays clear for a long time and can get it kind of out of her mind so she can stop worrying about it so we can just move on with our lives."

On the track, which is where Truex will be this weekend for the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway, is where he's been at his best this year.

Truex's 13 top-10 finishes in the first 14 races makes him the fourth driver in Sprint Cup history to accomplish the feat, joining defending series champion Kevin Harvick and Hall of Famers Richard Petty (1969) and Lee Petty (1954, 1959).

"It's a humbling thing when you see, especially your peers and the guys you race against every week, reach out and truly be happy for you and your situation, that's been really cool," Truex said.

Truex also has led the most laps the last four races — 95 in the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 on May 9, good for ninth place; 131 in the Coca Cola 600 on May 24, good for fifth; and 131 in the FedEx 400 on May 31, good for sixth.

"I think this whole season has been just so much fun as a team," Truex said. "Kind of what we went through last year, learning each other, learning more what not to do than anything, and then really bringing it into this season it's just been a pleasure to work with the team.

"The win (last weekend) was kind of an exclamation point on the start of the season. We have a lot to be happy about, a lot to be excited about. (Now we're) looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing what we can do now that the pressure's off and we can go to work on getting ready for the last 10 (races for the Chase championship)."

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Race weekend

When: 1 p.m. Sunday, Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

TV: FS1

Support races

ARCA Corrigan Oil 200: 5:45 p.m. Friday

Xfinity Great Clips 250: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: (800) 354-1010 or MISpeedway.com