LAS VEGAS — The career year for Martin Truex Jr. rolls on.
Truex and partner Sherry Pollex on Wednesday won the prestigious Myers Brothers Award — the top honor in NASCAR’s season-ending awards celebration — for their charitable work.
The award is presented by the National Motorsports Press Association and given as the final honor during a formal event that leads to Thursday night’s champion celebration.
Truex, who races for Denver-based Furniture Row Racing, will be feted there for his first career Cup title, a presentation he is prepared for.
But winning the Myers Brothers Award was a shock to Truex and Pollex, and both struggled to hold back tears as they received the honor.
“I didn’t see this coming,” Truex said.
“I didn’t either, and I’m going to try not to cry,” Pollex said.
The award is named for NASCAR pioneers Billy and Bobby Myers, and recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
It has been presented annually since 1958.
The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation has raised funds for awareness on childhood and teenage cancer, even before Pollex was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer a little more than three years ago.
Pollex suffered a recurrence this year as Truex was putting together his championship season. The couple hosted their eighth annual Catwalk for a Cause, a charitable fashion show/benefit, this season and raised more than $500,000.
Truex didn’t discuss his series-best eight victories this season, or the championship that came in his 12th season at NASCAR’s top level.
Instead, he touched on how pleased he and Pollex have been to assist those in need.
“I think Sherry and I have been very fortunate in our lives to have all the things we’ve needed,” Truex said. “Great families, great parents that raised us right and taught us right from wrong. They probably deserve a lot of the credit for us being who we are and being able to give back to people.”
Pollex’s “Drive for Teal & Gold” campaign in September also raised funds and awareness for ovarian and childhood cancers.
“I’m so proud of her and her fight and her battle and what she’s been able to pull through and get through, and at the same time, still willing to help others and give her time,” said Truex. “We’re humbled, we’re very lucky to be here and we are very proud of this.”
Truex was named on 82 percent of the ballots cast for this year’s award. Others receiving votes were team owner Jack Roush and seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.
Truex’s crew chief, Cole Pearn, won the award after guiding Furniture Row Racing to its first title.
The Canadian recalled initial reluctance to move to Denver to work for a single-car NASCAR operation, and the early struggles the team faced.
He credited team owner Barney Visser, who has been unable to enjoy any of the championship celebrations as he recuperates in Colorado from a heart attack and surgery two weeks before the season ended.
“They came up with the ridiculous idea of starting a NASCAR team in Colorado, and I went out there on a complete whim eight years ago, and I can’t believe we are champions,” Pearn said. “At one point it seemed like a top 10 was not even a pipe dream.”