Since 2015, Cole Pearn and Martin Truex Jr. have been one of the NASCAR Cup Series’ most successful crew chief/driver duos. After five years together, that partnership will come to an end. On Monday, Pearn announced he would be stepping away from NASCAR to be with family.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision,” Pearn said in a Joe Gibbs Racing release. “At the end of the day, I really want to spend time with my family and actually see my kids grow up. Being on the road, you are away from home so much and miss a lot of time with your family. I don’t want to miss that time anymore. I want to be there for all the things that my kids are going to experience while they are still young.
“I love racing and there isn’t a better place to be than Joe Gibbs Racing, but I don’t want to look back in 20 years and think about everything I missed with my wife and kids while I was gone. They are what is most important to me.”
A former driver in CASCAR (the predecessor to what is now the Canadian NASCAR Pinty’s Series), Pearn was an engineer for Furniture Row Racing when he became Truex’s crew chief in 2015. In his first year with Pearn, Truex won his first race for FRR and reached the Championship Round. FRR switched to Toyota from Chevrolet in 2016 and allied with JGR, from which the duo began winning far more often. After a four-win 2016 season, they broke through in 2017 with eight victories en route to the driver’s championship. This was followed by another four victories and a runner-up finish in the 2018 standings.
FRR closed down after the 2018 season and the two moved to JGR’s #19 team. Truex went on to win seven races and finished second in points behind JGR team-mate Kyle Busch. In five seasons together, the pair enjoyed twenty-four race wins.
Pearn’s successor has not been revealed.