"I love NASCAR. I love racing. It's what I grew up on," Martin Truex Jr. said per Motorsport.com before explaining his goals now that he can be called a champion. "This is a childhood dream of mine. So, I'm going to do the best job I can. I'm going to represent the sport well. There have been a lot of great champions that came before me and hopefully, I'll just be able to hold up my end of the deal.
"I'll try my best. I'm probably a little different than most have been, I would say. But hopefully I'll bring something to the table that will help the sport."
Going into NASCAR's Champion's week, Truex made sure he began representing NASCAR the right way from the start. Before being honored for his season, Truex and his girlfriend Sherry Pollex visited Sunrise Children's Hospital in Las Vegas to spend time with the children there.
"It's definitely an honor to do this," Truex said. "For them to ask us to come here and for NASCAR to schedule this and put this all together, it's such a grounding process when you go in there. It's a constant reminder when you see those kids of how lucky we are to do what we do. Not only that, but to wake up and be healthy every day."
The humbling activity is not the first for Truex and Pollex, who have been trying to help kids through the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation for the last 10 years.
"We've always wanted to help kids," Truex said. "Sherry and I have always said how fortunate we were growing up as kids. We had all the things we needed to grow and become successful because of that.
"We started helping all different kinds of things--underprivileged kids, abused kids, obviously we did somethings with pediatric cancer but we kept gravitating toward the cancer families and helping them. We thought that was where we could make the biggest difference."
If brightening sick children's days is the way Truex wants to kick off a week celebrating his and others' accomplishments, we think he will do just fine representing NASCAR as champion.