Sherry Pollex's cancer fight adds perspective, purpose behind charity RELATED: Catwalk for a Cause raises money for cancer research Martin Truex Jr . rolls into his "home track" Dover International Speedway this week the most dominant driver without a win this season. For the last two points races, the New Jersey native's No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy has led the most laps. He and reigning Sprint Cup Series champ Kevin Harvick have earned the most top-10 finishes (11) of any driver in the series. And, Truex sports a whopping 25-point lead on the next closest points position to qualify for the 16-driver Chase for theCup. Truex' 2014 struggles on track -- consistent bad luck and frequent car problems in his first year with the Furniture Row team -- now seem firmly in the rear-view mirror. And away from the track, Truex's girlfriend Sherry Pollex is responding well in treatment for ovarian cancer -- diagnosed last summer. By all reasonable standards, Truex is already a winner this year. He just hasn't hoisted a trophy. Yet. Perspective has come from facing great hardship and it has been evident even in disappointment for Truex . After leading a race-best 131 laps in Sunday night's grueling Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , he was interviewed on pit road and initially grimaced at yet another near-miss -- a fifth place finish. But before the camera pulled away, Truex had summoned a smile and offered perspective. MORE: #TBT: Truex earns first career Cup win After all that he and Pollex have endured in the past year, good days behind the wheel are a bonus. And Truex is collecting lots of bonus right now. "Toward the end of last year things were looking bad and the car wasn't running well and I was in front-line treatment (for cancer),'' Pollex said. "Now his team is on fire and they have the car to beat every weekend. I'm still in my maintenance chemo, but I live a normal life with it. "Even if Martin wasn't doing well on track, we're kinda winning at life. There are so many things we are thankful for." And as they have for years, Truex and Pollex have generously given back on their blessings through the Martin Truex Jr . Foundation. The foundation's marquee event, Catwalk for a Cause -- a fundraiser for pediatric cancer research and treatment at the Charlotte-based Levine Children’s Hospital -- was held May 13 and raised nearly $300,000. The awareness generated and hearts warmed were priceless. A couple dozen of the sport's biggest names showed up to bid on silent auction items and cheer the participants on as they walked the runway wearing fashions from local boutiques and Belk's. The Mooresville, N.C., facility's décor was created by former NASCAR driver Shawna Robinson, who recently completed treatment for breast cancer herself. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Kasey Kahne , Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick were among those who walked the runway with young cancer patients. "Sherry (Pollex) does so much and these kids have such great spirit and they don't know any different,'' said Danica Patrick , who dazzled on stage alongside fellow NASCAR driver and boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr . and 6-year old, Mya, who is undergoing chemotherapy for a form of leukemia. "It shows how you can be in those situations if you don't think too far forward, and live in the moment." It's a lesson Pollex has had reinforced. Her commitment to the spring event never wavered even in the immediate days after being diagnosed with cancer herself. "God works in mysterious ways,'' Truex said. "When Sherry first got diagnosed she thought about all the kids she had in the Catwalk before and the kids to come and said, 'If they can do this, I can do this.' ' "That was honestly the first thing she thought, 'I'm going to show them I can do it, then they will do it.' And it's a constant snowball effect." Pollex is philosophical about the irony of the situation. For years she has dedicated herself to helping this cause through the foundation's resources. "I remember not long after I was diagnosed, telling my mom that God must have had a plan for me because I've spent half my life teaching kids how to beat this disease then I ended up with it,'' Pollex said. "I definitely think it's ironic. Maybe God knew I would have to teach them how to fight and then one day I'd know what they went through. I can't imagine there being any other plan for me. "If you try to just look at the positive side of it, it's an opportunity to know what they've been through and what the treatments are like. "Nobody really knows what cancer is like unless you have it. You have an empathy that no one can explain unless you're a survivor. It gives me an opportunity to teach them to beat the disease." Because it is considered a "rare" form of cancer, pediatric cancer receives only a small fraction of the funding for research and new treatment that adult forms of cancer receive, according to Dr. Javier Oesterheld, interim director of Levine's Pediatric Hematology and Oncology unit. The money raised by Truex and Pollex is extremely important. "I will tell you, NASCAR as a whole is incredible about this,'' Oesterheld said. "This event is so amazing, how much it raises and just the awareness it puts out there. "All we need (for our cause) is our one person to really push it forward. People like Martin and Jeff Gordon . They've really made a huge difference for us." Beyond the practical side of raising money, the Catwalk has a special and undeniable tangible effect. The very people benefitting get to be a part of the process. And by the end of the evening, it was genuinely hard to see who was helping whom. The kids were grinning and laughing and hamming it up despite their tough circumstances. And the adults were smiling back at them, inspired by their strength and spirit, awed by the lesson of living in the moment. It's impossible not to leave Catwalk without being moved. "Imagine the feeling these kids get when they're up here helping their peers,'' Truex said. "They have friends back in the hospital that were too sick to come here tonight. Imagine what they feel in their heart when they're up here and everyone's cheering for them and they say, 'This is for our friends back in the hospital and for kids that haven't been diagnosed yet.' "These kids raise the money. We don't. "At the end of the day, we're both blessed to be healthy enough to do it, especially Sherry with what she's been through. This year was extra special to her for that reason." Pollex agreed. "We were so humbled all those people were there, and I feel like this year was different because of my diagnosis,'' she said. "We've always wanted to help people. And now that we can't have kids of our own it takes on a new importance in our lives. Those kids become our kids. " With the way Truex has been contending, it won't be long until the couple gets to celebrate their perseverance and resolve in Victory Lane. He's a legitimate favorite this weekend. Truex scored his career first Cup win at Dover's Monster Mile in 2007 and has an impressive two pole positions and eight top-10s in 18 starts at the notoriously tough concrete oval. "I would never want our lives necessarily to turn out this way, but Martin is a completely different person (since I was diagnosed with cancer) and looks at everything differently, not just racing,'' Pollex said. "I don't know how anyone could be the same person after going through this. "I look at it like we got an opportunity to show God what we're made of." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Initial frustration gives way to encouragement over Dover results RELATED: 'Six-time' wins 10th time at Dover " Race results " Updated standings DOVER, Del. – Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr . may have initially been frustrated coming up short on a potential first win of the 2015 season in Sunday's FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. But once given some time to think big picture both Chevrolet drivers seemed decidedly more encouraged than disappointed by their top-six efforts. While they may not have had much for eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson in the end, Kahne and Truex raced each other hard in the closing laps – so hard on one restart that after the race, a miffed Truex showed his displeasure by giving Kahne's No. 5 Farmers Chevrolet a little bump on the cool-down lap. By the time the drivers emerged from their cars, neither was still particularly upset. "Our car was inside him and he ran me down to the apron so I either had to let off or wreck all of us so I decided to let off," said Truex , who finished sixth but for the third consecutive points race led the most laps (131) without winning. Kahne calmly explained the situation from his perspective. "He was back behind me to get a run on me, obviously," Kahne said. "The spotter said I was clear, so I just went to the bottom getting into [turn] one. I think he was a little upset. He gave me a bump after the race. But I didn't really know what else to do other than to go there with guys on my outside and stuff." In the end, Kahne's fourth-place finish matched his best result of the season (he also finished fourth at Phoenix in March) despite a disappointing qualifying effort. "Started 25th and drove forward throughout the whole race," Kahne said. "We got to 12th or 13th and kind of stood there for a little while and [crew chief] Keith [Rodden] found us a way to get track position on the end. "I was able to get to second on the outside on the restart and basically the guy in fourth got to second on the outside and I ended up fourth. It was kind of just the way it goes late in the race on old tires. We did all we could. We had a pretty good run. … we just came up fourth." SHOP: Kahne gear " Truex items In the previous two races, Truex led the most laps and felt like he had the car that should have driven in Victory Lane but didn't. This week he conceded the car may not have been a race winner and in this case, salvaging a top-six – his series best 12th top-10 [tying race runner-up Kevin Harvick ] was a productive day. "We had a good car today, but it was never right,'" Truex said of his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet. "We were never right yesterday through practice. We made some changes today and we made some gains on it, but never really got it where we needed it. "Clean air was huge. When we were out front, we were OK. It just never turned good all day long and it just eventually caught up to us." With only one-third of the 36-race schedule completed, the 389 laps led ranks third in a season for Truex . He led 581 laps in 2007 and 434 in 2012. He remains second in driver points, 44 behind leader Harvick and 32 ahead of third place Johnson – the only multi-race winners on the season. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Leads most laps for third straight race, but still no wins DOVER, Del. -- For the third straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Martin Truex Jr . led the most laps, and for the third straight race he failed to win. But Truex left Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway not chafing with disappointment after missing an opportunity in a potential race-winning car—as had been the case last week at Charlotte—but miffed at fourth-place finisher Kasey Kahne for closing the door on the final restart. With nowhere to go in the inside lane, Truex finished sixth after leading a race-high 131 laps. “I was inside him, and he ran me down on the apron,” Truex said. “So I either had to let off or wreck all of us. We had a good car today but it was never right. We were never right yesterday all through practice. “We made some changes today and we made some gains on it, but never really got it where we needed it. Clean air was huge. When we were out front, we were OK. It just never turned good all day long. It just eventually caught up to us.” Kahne, understandably, had a different view of the green-white-checkered-flag restart. “He was back behind me to get a run on me, obviously; the spotter said I was clear, so I just went to the bottom getting into (Turn) 1,” Kahne said. “I think he was a little upset. He gave me a bump after the race. But I don’t know. I didn’t really know what else to do other than to go there with guys on my outside and stuff. “But we had a pretty good car. We made good adjustments. The guys did a nice job. I wanted more. We had a nice package, but just didn’t pull it off.” ALMIROLA GETS HARD-EARNED FIFTH-PLACE FINISH How bad was the handling of Aric Almirola ’s car early in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race? So bad that he twice went a lap down early in the race. But Almirola also got two “lucky dogs,” free pass to the lead lap as the highest-scored lapped car, and he spent the rest of the race making the most of his second chances, posting a season-best fifth-place finish in his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. The critical factor was Almirola’s ability to stay infront of leader Kevin Harvick before a wreck involving Brian Scott and Kyle Busch brought out the fifth caution on Lap 376. “I earned my money today, that is for sure,” Almirola said. “This Smithfield Ford Fusion was a handful most of the day. It started off extremely tight. (Crew chief) Trent Owens and the guys made really good adjustments on the car, and got it better and better. Finally we weren’t the lucky dog -- we raced and stayed on the lead lap, and when the caution came out, we got a chance to restart with the leaders. “That was the big break for us. Every time we would get the lucky dog I had to start dead last and 30-40-50 laps the leaders were right back on me. It was a great day for us, a really good points day for us. I’m proud of Trent Owens and all the guys at Richard Petty Motorsports . They have been working their guts out trying to bring better cars to the race track week in and week out.” KYLE BUSCH’S UPHILL BATTLE JUST GOT HARDER Kyle Busch ’s run toward the top 30 in points suffered a serious setback on Sunday when contact from Brian Scott ’s Chevrolet sent Busch’s Toyota into the outside wall in Turn 3 on Lap 376 of a scheduled 400. Busch was running fourth at the time and made a move to pass Scott on the inside. Unaware the No. 18 Toyota was below him, Scott turned into Busch’s car. The mea culpa, however, can’t undo the damage to Busch’s hopes of finishing in the top 30 in the standings 13 races hence. Since Busch missed the first 11 races of the season after breaking his right leg and left foot in a Feb. 21 accident at Daytona, he must win one of the next 13 races and finish in the top 30 in points to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . “This is a shame,” Busch said. “This isn’t what we need, and we weren’t going to win today, but it doesn’t help when you finish 40th.” Actually, Busch was credited with a 36th-place result, but he leaves Dover 168 points out of 30th place, needing an approximate average of 15th place over the next 13 races to have a realistic shot at the top 30. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne talk about their frustration with each other during the final restart in the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway.
Rookie has developmental deal with Richard Petty Motorsports RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Ryan Truex 's rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has not gone as he would have liked, and the 22-year-old has found himself out of a ride at BK Racing. Truex told The Press of Atlantic City , a newspaper in New Jersey, that he has parted ways with the team for which he drove the No. 83 Toyota in 23 races this season. He was on the initial entry list for this weekend's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway but has since been replaced by Travis Kvapil , as he was last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . "I gave it my best effort and they gave me my first full-time Sprint Cup ride, and I'll always be grateful for that," Truex told the newspaper during an appearance at an annual fan event put on by his brother, Martin Truex Jr .'s, foundation. "But we decided it was time to part ways and move toward the future." In his 23 starts , Truex had an average finish of 35.6. His best result was a 20th-place finish in August at Pocono Raceway . "It's been an up-and-down season for sure," Truex said. "It was my first full season in any of the top three series ever, so it's been a learning curve for me. Being a rookie and being out there and getting the experience was the biggest thing." What's next for Truex ? He does have a developmental deal that he inked with Richard Petty Motorsports last year. The two-car organization has an opening in its Sprint Cup garage following the announcement earlier this month that Marcos Ambrose was leaving the team. "That's a long deal, it's a multi-year deal," Truex said. "Hopefully we can do something with it. There's a lot of things going on. I think I have a solid future with them." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Ryan Truex cuts a tire down and hits the wall bringing out the caution, and maybe a break for Kyle Busch at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Ryan Truex cuts down a tire and ends up in the wall.
Complete news and notes on every driver that competed at the Monster Mile RELATED: F ull race results " Updated series standings " Latest Chase Grid 1. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson chose the outside lane for the first and only attempt at a green-white-checkered flag and held on to win a record 10th Sprint Cup race at the Monster Mile. He joins NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson, Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip who also have won 10 times at a single track. " WATCH: Johnson on adding to his 'Monster' collection 2. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick overcame a broken track bar to earn his ninth top-five finish this year and match his best Dover result. 3. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. "Good job boys," Larson radioed his team after sealing his best Dover performance. "First podium of the year." " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 4. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne, who qualified 25th, was in position to contend for the win when he lined up next to teammate Jimmie Johnson for the green-white-checkered flag restart. " WATCH: Kahne on final restart 5. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola picked up four spots on the final restart to earn his best career Dover finish. 6. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . The outside pole sitter led a race-high 131 laps, but was frustrated during the green-white-checkered flag when he lined up third and was slowed on the restart. Irritated, he radioed, "Should have wrecked them all." " WATCH: Truex discusses frustrating final restart 7. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray constantly worked the track bar adjuster to help make his Chevrolet turn better. 8. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard narrowly avoided being involved in a wreck with 24 laps to go and held on to claim his third top-10 Dover result. 9. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Bowyer led a lap during late-race green-flag stops, but later made contact with Denny Hamlin to bring out the sixth caution of the race. " WATCH: See the incident between Bowyer and Hamlin 10. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon let out a "Woooo" over the radio when the caution flag was waved on Lap 376, which enabled him to get back on the lead lap as the beneficiary of the free pass. " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 11. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Logano chased the handling of his car and early on, he radioed his team, "as soon as I hit dirty air, it takes about 10 laps for (the tires) to come back." 12. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Keselowski inherited the lead during green-flag stops on Lap 330 and stretched his fuel window to 96 laps before making his stop. " For more in-race stats, sign up for RaceView Premium today 13. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan steadily used pit stops to improve his track position, although he did have to avoid cement cracks in Tony Stewart 's nearby stall. 14. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt overcame several frustrations to lead three laps on Sunday, but he couldn't rally back from a pit road penalty with just over 150 laps to go. His thoughts? "Nothing would make me enjoy racing on this concrete." 15. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick was running inside the top 15 when she was caught speeding on pit road during her Lap 331 green-flag pit stop. 16. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart spent most of the race looking for front grip, while his crew members monitored the 12-by-12-inch area of crumbled concrete in his pit stall. 17. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . "Why are they letting these cars on track," Biffle asked his team after smashing into Casey Mears on Lap 399. "He broke, and I couldn't avoid him." " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 18. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman attempted pit strategy, but fought a tight-handling condition all race long. 19. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards might have caught a lucky break on his first pit road penalty, but his second one, which occurred with around 150 laps remaining, was more damaging. " WATCH: Carl's crew member takes a ride 20. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . It was a solid day for Bowman, who made his best start and went on to claim his best Dover result. 21. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . The pole winner didn't get a chance to see what four fresh tires could do late as he was hit by Clint Bowyer on Lap 386 derailing his bid for a second win in 2015. " RELATED: Hamlin discusses late trouble 22. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish and his team chased the handling on his No. 9 Ford until the final 50 laps when something clicked and he started posting his best lap times of the day. 23. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill nabbed his best Dover finish on Sunday after starting 43rd. 24. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Rear grip was an initial issue for Allmendinger, who was hit by a spinning Casey Mears in the closing laps. 25. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . The No. 38 team resolved a tight-handling condition as Gilliland collected his best Dover finish since the 2011 spring race. 26. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt's team had a scary moment on pit road when his crew members had to maneuver around neighbor Brad Keselowski to pit the No. 35 Ford. 27. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears slowed up after cutting his left-front tire and was hit from behind by Greg Biffle to bring out the final caution flag. 28. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Moffitt earned his best finish with Front Row Motorsports after improving several positions in the latter part of the race. 29. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley climbed through the field after starting 40th to post his third-best Dover finish. 30. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . With 40 laps to go, Burton attempted to move down the track and made slight contact with Martin Truex Jr ., who was running fourth at the time. 31. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch sustained right-front damage and required a pit stop after being involved in the Clint Bowyer / Denny Hamlin dust-up on Lap 386. He then blew another tire right before the restart. " WATCH: See what happened to Busch 32. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto, in his first Dover appearance, managed to stay out of trouble while navigating the Monster Mile. 33. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon turned in a solid run before knocking out his radiator on the last caution of the day. 34. Brendan Gaughan , No. 62 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Making his first Dover start since 2004, Gaughan lined up 41st and earned the team’s best finish since Atlanta. 35. Mike Bliss , No. 32 Ford, Go FASRacing. Bliss lined up 42nd and had trouble navigating his way through the tight quarters of Dover's concrete mile. 36. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Busch led seven laps Sunday before being collected in a late-race accident with Brian Scott that brought out the fifth caution flag. Busch, who appeared to walk without issue to the ambulance, was cleared by the on-site medics. " RELATED: Busch involved in wreck for first time since Daytona 37. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse's team had to go under the hood after he lost his gauges coming to pit road during the first caution period. 38. Brian Scott , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. A later apologetic Scott came down on the track and right into the path of lead-lap car Kyle Busch with 24 laps to go. " RELATED: Scott apologizes to Busch via Twitter 39. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Suspension issues in the final 100 laps prompted Kenseth to make an unscheduled pit stop and ultimately retreat to the garage for a broken track bar mount. 40. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise ran as high as 25th before encountering an electrical issue. 41. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett, who made his best Dover start Sunday, was involved in a Lap 175 accident after making contact with Trevor Bayne . 42. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier, who qualified 24th, smashed into teammate Michael Annett after Annett was hit by Trevor Bayne on Lap 175. " WATCH: See what happened to the two HScott cars 43. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne attempted to move up the track on Lap 175 when he made contact with Michael Annett and slid down to crash off the inside Dover wall. " RELATED: Bayne called to NASCAR hauler FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Ryan Truex slams into the wall during early practice. Truex climbed out of his car and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Bowman has not yet made a Sprint Cup Series start; Truex has three career Cup starts