Canadian first graders ‘adopt’ Martin Truex Jr. in hopes of changing his bad luck

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It’s no secret that NASCAR is doing everything it can to attract new fans, especially young ones.

You know the scenario: hook ’em young and you have ’em hooked for life.

Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. is certainly doing his part in promoting the youth movement.

According to Motor Racing Network’s Dustin Long, a group of Canadian first graders has adopted Truex as their favorite driver.

And in so doing, the kids from Front of Yonge School in Ontario province hope to change the miserable luck Truex has had thus far in his first season with Furniture Row Racing.

Truex quipped on his Facebook page after a crash in practice at Fontana two weeks ago, “Does anyone have a good luck charm I can use for…oh I don’t know, the rest of the season??”

Carla Bangma’s students picked up on that and sent Truex a video serenade of “Bring It All Back,” which includes lyrics such as “Your time is coming around, so don’t you stop trying” and “Don’t stop, never give up, hold your head high and reach for the top.” (See the video below)

The class also sent him a book it put together called “Awesome Truex” that touted Truex’s humanitarian efforts, his love of hunting and fishing, and even his dog Boden.

With a group of cheerleaders like that, maybe Truex’s luck will indeed finally change this Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

He sure needs any luck he can get: he’s currently 28th in the Sprint Cup standings, 122 points – essentially the equivalent of three full wins – behind series leader Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB6l6yE1WfA&w=560&h=315%5D

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.