That call to pit? Forget it, we’re staying out. Cole Pearn- the crew chief for Martin Truex Jr. and the 78 car- helped deliver the win for his team. The call enabled Truex to obliterate the field at the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Sunday by ten seconds! Wham!
How many times has Cole Pearn been a factor in a 78 win? I don’t have an exact figure, but the number continues to climb higher. Not to dismiss the talents of Truex, but remember that 16 of his 18 victories have come since 2015. Let this sink in: win number one came at Dover in 2007, then the second win wouldn’t follow until 2013 at Sonoma. For years, Truex looked the part of a solid journeyman who wouldn’t races, but wouldn’t embarrass you either. It all changed when the pairing of Pearn and Truex came together at Furniture Row Racing.
For years, it’s been Chad Knaus that has worn the mantle of being NASCAR’s resident “evil genius.” Knaus on more than one occasion pushed Jimmie Johnson and the 48 car to victory. Say what you will, Knaus has been solid gold in the same vein as a Ray Evernham or a Dale Inman. Cole Pearn has earned the full trust of his driver, and if you understand the mentality of the racer, then you knwo that says a lot.
Martin Truex Jr. says there’s no hesitation to go with what Cole Pearn recommends. His calls don’t succeed at a 100 percent rate. Every now and again, his gambles burn his team, but it’s rare. Sunday- Pearn looked like a master puppeteer.
We’ve spent a lot of time focused on the value of teamwork of late. The winning call at the Toyota Save Mart 350 is Exhibit A. Everyone on the 78 team played a part.
Topping the likes of Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer won’t be easy. Having said that, Martin Truex Jr. has a not-so-secret weapon.