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In a press conference at Iowa Speedway on Friday afternoon, 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. announced that he will retire from full-time racing at the end of the 2024 season, bringing an end to his career after 19 full-time seasons as a Cup driver. News of Truex's decision to retire was first reported by Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic.

Truex, who will turn 44 at the end of the month, had mulled retirement at the midway point of the past several seasons but had elected to return for another year in both 2022 and 2023. Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports had reported on the network's pre-race show last Sunday that Joe Gibbs Racing had been putting pressure on Truex to make a prompt decision this year, as the team had been looking to get out ahead of hiring potential replacements in the event of Truex's retirement.

In his formal announcement, Truex said that compared to past years in which he contemplated retirement, this "felt like the right time" for him to step away after nearly two full decades in the Cup Series. Truex, as well as car owner Joe Gibbs, left open the possibility of him continuing to race in some capacity in either the Xfinity Series or the Daytona 500, which Truex has never won.

"I thought about it a lot the past few seasons, and just waited for that feeling in my mind to be positive. LIke, 'this is okay, I'm good, I want to do something else,'" Truex said. "Something just felt different this year for me. I felt like it was time to slow down and do something else. It's been a great ride though, obviously."

The son of former Busch North Series driver Martin Truex Sr., Truex received his big break in NASCAR in the early 2000s when he was hired to drive for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Busch Series team, where he proceeded to win the series championship in both 2004 and 2005. That earned Truex a full-time Cup seat with Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2006, and he would proceed to become a consistent contender for race wins and playoff spots in his early career between DEI and Michael Waltrip Racing.

The early portion of Truex's career had its ups and downs, featuring only two victories and many near-misses, but he would blossom into a Hall of Fame-level driver after being paired with crew chief Cole Pearn at Furniture Row Racing in 2015. Truex would become a championship contender with Pearn atop the pit box, highlighted by a 2017 season where he won a career-high eight times en route to his first Cup championship. Truex also made the Championship 4 of the NASCAR playoffs five times in seven years, finishing runner-up in the championship standings three times from 2018 to 2021.

Truex, whose 34 career wins are tied for 25th on NASCAR's all-time wins list, remains one of the top drivers in Cup and enters this weekend's race at Iowa fifth in the championship standings with four top fives and seven top 10s through 16 races.

According to multiple reports, Chase Briscoe has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Truex at Joe Gibbs Racing next season. Briscoe has driven for Stewart-Haas Racing since entering the Cup Series in 2021, but is set to become a free agent with SHR shutting down at the end of the season.