Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Las Vegas, NV–
If there is one story in sports that could be one of the best stories in the history of any professional sporting league, it would be the season of Martin Truex Jr. who not only raced with a team that was started by a man with a dream of putting a car on a track, to grabbing that checkered flag in Homestead and bringing home a championship season with an exclamation mark at the end. His award presentation at the awards Tuesday night at the Wynn Hotel and Casino was the cake topper of a storied season.
Drivers, their wives and the sport’s VIPs walked the sport’s version of the “red carpet” to come into the banquet looking fabulous in tuxes and formal gowns and giving off good vibes and fond farewells.
All 16 drivers who qualified for the playoffs took turns on stage with the final four making speeches culminating with Truex’s earnest words of gratitude for his team, team owner Barney Visser – who is in Denver, recovering from a heart attack – and his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex, who is battling a recurrence of ovarian cancer.
The awards featured a special presentation to Dale Jr., who celebrated his 15th consecutive fan favorite driver award, but the way he put it to his close friend the real champ of tonight was his buddy Martin Truex Jr.
Truex was extremely emotional when he stepped up to the podium and became even more emotional when he described the real champion being his wife, who has a long battle with cancer and continues to defy the odds and be right at his side for every race and also make the second half of one of the most genuine couples in racing.