NASCAR's biggest free agent, Truex has great options for '10
"But I ain't going to tell you though," Truex told a press conference last Friday at Dover. "I am just not going to tell you anything. The picture is pretty clear for me right now. I am pretty happy with the way things have gone. I have been having fun at the race track and things are going well right now.
"I think in the next few weeks, everybody will know what is going on. I have just been concentrating on racing because the picture is kind of clear, so I am not really worried about it too much."
The smart money in the media center has Truex signing with Michael Waltrip Racing, which is undoubtedly working hard on putting together a sponsorship package to lure him. Truex has everything MWR is looking for to build its team around for the next 10 years: He's talented, experienced and has his best seasons in front of him.
Truex is another
Burton blossomed in his fourth season -- his second with Jack Roush, and the year he turned 30 -- notching three wins and finishing fourth in the points. Next year will be Truex's fourth and he's capable of those types of numbers. Like Burton, Truex functions well in the multi-car environment and contributes strongly to the overall success of the team. Truex won his race and made the Chase in 2007 when on a four-car Dale Earnhardt Inc. team.
At Waltrip, Truex would join
"They (Waltrip) seem like a great organization," Truex said. "They have come a long way. I think they have a lot going for them. We will just have to see what happens."
"I think my brother being there has a big impact," Martin Truex admits. "I have more of an insight on how they do things." So, it's all but done, right? Truex is headed to Waltrip. Maybe.
Stewart-Haas Racing is also likely bidding for Truex, part of an expansion to three or four (with
Truex turned down a long-term offer from Penske Racing last year to sign a one-year deal with DEI, which merged with
Why did Truex re-sign the one-year deal with DEI last season? He was keeping his options open, but joining Hendrick or Stewart-Haas in 2010 was probably foremost in his mind. It would put him in the same equipment with the ability to share technical data with his close friend and former DEI teammate,
Martin's unexpected decision to return for a second full season at Hendrick shut that door. Of course, Stewart-Haas, first with owner Tony and fifth with
Truex has had a long-term relationship with Bass Pro Shops at DEI and it seems possible the company could follow Truex to his destination in 2010. Stewart's World of Outlaws team is sponsored by Bass. The established relationships would make for a smooth transition for Bass a compelling combination of teams and drivers to promote.
Truex has two excellent opportunities in MWR and Stewart-Haas. Truex clearly has a favorite in mind, but which is it?