With the start of the NASCAR racing season it is worthwhile to look back on the opportunity provided to meet one of NASCAR’s rising stars, Martin Truex Jr. Besides his love of auto racing, Martin is an avid hunter and fisher. He took time to speak with us about restoring the Gulf as a critical fishing resource.
When not piloting the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing, Martin Truex Jr. is an avid hunter and angler. As we found out, while attending the Avco Care 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway last September, Truex cares deeply about the need to restore the Gulf from the known damage and still uncertain impacts of the BP spill and its aftermath. “I’ve been fishing since I was old enough to go out on the boats with my father and grandfather”, said Truex. Both of the elder Truex family members are part of an extended family that makes a living on the Jersey coast as commercial fishermen. Truex's family owns a large independent clam and specialty seafood company. When he was younger, he worked as a deckhand on a clamming boat, long enough to know he'd rather be racing for a living. “That’s how I earned extra spending money when I was growing up and I have never lost my love of fishing and the water. We have to make sure the Gulf remains a healthy and sustainable fishery.”
Bass Pro Shops is one of many companies that sponsors Truex, and they also provide him with outdoor gear to fuel his off-track passions. "It's been a dream come true for me," he said. "I love to fish. I've always been a water guy, growing up in coastal New Jersey. I've always fished and hunted."
Through his work with Keep America Fishing, Truex has been following the debate over funding to restore the Gulf. “So many people rely on the Gulf for their seafood and for recreation. It needs to be made healthy and sustainable again. To do otherwise just would not be right.”
“I have three passions, NASCAR racing, hunting and fishing. Racing keeps me busy most of the time, but every chance I get I am out there in the woods or on the water just to relax and kick back with friends,” said Truex. This theme carries over to his good works off the track as well. As the founder the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, which was formed in 2007 to help children in need, he uses his NASCAR fame to create awareness of children’s issues. His Foundation regularly hosts events to fundraise for charitable causes in New Jersey and North Carolina. He also created a website for outdoor enthusiasts, MTJ Authentics (ww.mtjauthentics.com
). It is loaded with pictures from some of Martin’s more memorable hunting and fishing adventures, as well as previews of up-coming NASCAR race events.
For this race fan, it was a weekend to remember! Not only was the racing great but the opportunity to meet drivers like Truex and many of the rest of the stars of the NASCAR Nation was a blast. Our thanks to MTJ Motorsports for offering the chance to learn more about the other side of Martin Truex Jr. and for the insider access provided for the event.