Martin Truex Jr.’s girlfriend shares story of battling ovarian cancer

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The lives of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. and his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, were changed forever this past summer when Pollex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Pollex underwent surgery on Aug. 15, with Truex missing practice and qualifying sessions at Michigan International Speedway to be with her. Since then, the couple has had to find ways to carry on as she battles the hideous disease.

“We lived our life in fourth gear,” Pollex said recently to USA Today’s Mike Hembree. “We were constantly running … So adjusting to a new normal and having to put your life in first gear and learn that your body can’t run like that any more is the biggest adjustment for me.”

“It’s been a roller-coaster ride,” adds Truex, who also told Hembree he thought about taking the rest of the Cup season off (and was given an option to do so by his Furniture Row Racing team).

“You go through all different emotions from sad to mad, why the hell, why us. But at the end of the day, we’re no different from anybody else who’s had cancer.”

As part of a moving story, Hembree also details how her cancer diagnosis altered the couple’s consideration at the time of having their first child.

“There was no time to think about the fact that I was devastated that I could never be a mother,” Pollex says. “I don’t know what hit me worse – the devastation that I couldn’t carry my own child or the devastation that I had Stage III cancer. To hear all that in a matter of five minutes – it was so hard.”

Pollex is set to have weekly chemotherapy treatments into the New Year.

But while she receives treatment, she continues to work to ensure that the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation continues one of its main missions: Helping kids battle pediatric cancer.

She also hopes to raise more awareness about ovarian cancer, which she believes does not receive as much attention as other cancers in the bigger picture.

“…With earlier diagnosis, I would have had a survival rate of 85 percent,” she tells Hembree. “My survival rate now is less than 30. … All I can do right now is fight and try to help other women so they don’t make the same mistake.”

For more on the MTJ Foundation, visit its website at MartinTruexJrFoundation.org.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.