Truex’s girlfriend passes milestone in cancer recovery

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Martin Truex Jr. enters this season with a new perspective that has little to do with what happens on the track.

Sherry Pollex, Truex’s longtime girlfriend, tweeted Monday that she had completed a round of chemotherapy as she recovers from her bout with Stage III ovarian cancer. She has a year’s worth of what Truex calls “maintenance” chemotherapy, but those sessions will not be as frequent.

“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders, obviously hers,’’ Truex said Thursday at the NASCAR Sprint Cup media tour. “It will certainly be a lot easier to be at the racetrack and not be worried about her and what’s going on.’’

Pollex had surgery Aug. 15, a week after her diagnosis. Doctors removed her appendix, spleen, ovaries, fallopian tubes and part of her stomach. Truex missed qualifying at Michigan to be with her for that surgery. He didn’t miss a race although car owner Barney Visser said he could if he needed to do so.

“There were days it sucked to be at the racetrack, especially at the end of the season when she was going through her thing, but there was never a time where I didn’t want to be there or didn’t feel that I should be there,’’ said Truex, who finished 24th in the points with five top-10 finishes in 36 starts. “Honestly, there were times last year when I felt like when Thursday came around it was time to go to the racetrack. I really enjoyed that. I needed that getaway. I needed to get to the racetrack and take out some frustration and get with the guys and be a part of the team even though it wasn’t going good. At times it was therapeutic for me to be there and be doing my thing.’’

With Pollex passing a milestone in her recovery this week, Truex admits he has a new attitude.

“We all get inspired by people at some point, but when you see somebody go through something like that and it’s the person you love more than anyone in the world it takes it to a new level,’’ he said.