OMG! Martin Truex Jr’s heartbreaking 2016 turns heartwarming

Talk about a heart-wrechner. The Coca-Cola 600 tugged on our emotional strings in one of the most epic races ever.

Martin Truex Jr started the 2016 Sprint Cup season by losing the Daytona 500 by fractions of an inch to his friend, Denny Hamlin. His bad luck streak continued at Kansas, Texas, and Dover where he couldn’t get the win despite leading 172, 141, and 47 laps, respectively.

Next up was Kansas, where he dominated the race until a badly vibrating wheel after a late-race pit stop dropped him out of contention. At Dover, he was lined up behind Jimmie Johnson on a restart when the 6-time champ’s transmission broke causing Truex to rear-end him and trigger an 18 car pileup. Are you freaking kidding me?

Despite his dominating run from the pole at the Coca-Cola 600, his girlfriend, teammates, and owners were on edge until the final lap, hoping his bad luck streak was finally over. Like those closest to Truex Jr, we were biting our nails as the 78 car danced around the final laps, hoping he Truex Jr curse was over.

As he cruised into turn 3 for the final time, several seconds ahead of Kevin Harvick, the collective emotions began to spill over. His girlfriend, Shery Pollex, who recently completed 17 months of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, was overcome with relief:

The NASCAR community congratulated MTJ in a way I haven’t seen since Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the 1998 Daytona 500. In a fairy-tale ending, the “Heartbreak Kid” provided the most heartwarming moment of the 2016 season.

NASCAR Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt (3) victorious with crew after winning race, Daytona, FL 2/15/1998 (Photo by Jim Gund/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
NASCAR Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt (3) victorious with crew after winning race, Daytona, FL 2/15/1998 (Photo by Jim Gund/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)