Mile High Sports Magazine has named Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. the 2015 Colorado Professional Athlete of the Year.
Truex, who enjoyed his best season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, joins a list of famed athletes who previously received the Mile High Sports Magazine honor, including Peyton Manning (NFL Denver Broncos), Carmelo Anthony (NBA Denver Nuggets) and Joe Sakic (NHL Colorado Avalanche).
Driving for the Denver-based single-car team headquartered 1500 miles from the racing hub in Charlotte, N.C., Truex defied the pundits by advancing to the final four in NASCAR’s Chase playoffs. His season statistics were highlighted with a victory at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, eight top fives, 22 top 10s and 567 laps led. He was NASCAR’s biggest gainer in the point standings, vaulting from 24th in 2014 to fourth in 2015.
“On Monday mornings in Colorado, you talk about how the Broncos played on Sunday. It’s just what you do. But this year, on more than one occasion, Monday morning included conversations about how well Furniture Row Racing and Martin Truex Jr. did over the weekend,” said Mile High Sports Magazine editor-in-chief Doug Ottewill. “The fact that this team got the general sports fan talking about, and interested in, motor sports is remarkable. Truex and his team put our state on the map in a sport where we’d previously had little, if any, representation. That’s a remarkable feat, and it’s exactly why we chose to honor him. Simply put, they were excellent all season long.”
Truex, who will begin his third season in 2016 as the Furniture Row Racing driver, was quick to point out that the honor was a result of a team effort.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized in the home state of our Furniture Row Racing team,” said Truex. “Though it will be showcased as an individual honor, the Mile High Sports award would never have been possible if it weren’t for the talented and dedicated group of people at our Denver shop for giving me fast race cars throughout the season.
“Our team owner and Denver native Barney Visser has given us the resources to compete with the top teams of the sport. And Joe Garone, another Denver native, has skillfully guided the program in his role as general manager. Needless to say, our results in 2015 have been a total team effort. I also want to give a shout out to all the Colorado NASCAR fans for their support, which means so much to everyone associated with Furniture Row Racing.”
Mile High Sports Magazine can be found on newsstands in Colorado; the January issue, which honors Truex, will hit the stands Jan. 5. The digital version can be found at milehighsports.com.