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Martin Truex Jr. Taps Into His Culinary Side During NASCAR Offseason

The 2023 Cup Series regular-season champ can cook off the track just as much as on it.   

By Andrew Woodin
Close up of Martin Truex Jr. during practice

While the end of his 2023 NASCAR season skidded to a halt down the final stretch, Martin Truex Jr. roasted the field early on, scoring an opening victory during the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, followed by wins at Dover, Sonoma and New Hampshire before downshifting into a disappointing playoff run that jettisoned him in the Round of 8.

Despite a lackluster effort in his postseason championship pursuits, Joe Gibbs Racing’s wheelman of the No. 19 Toyota Camry still managed to earn the regular-season title based on points. Sure, he would’ve much rather been clanging doors with Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson before ultimately hoisting the Bill France Cup in Phoenix, Arizona, but you take what you can get.

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So how does the 43-year-old veteran driver clear his mind, move on and prepare for the next season? He leans into one of his favorite hobbies: cooking.

On the red carpet for the annual NASCAR Awards at Music City Hall in Nashville, Tennessee, last week, Truex Jr. caught up with reporters about his prowess as a deep-sea fisherman, revealing he'd caught a couple of 150-pound tunas, and the conversation steered straight out of the ocean and into the kitchen.

Close up of Martin Truex Jr. waiting on the grid

What is Martin Truex Jr.'s favorite dish to make?

"Tuna nachos are my favorite, so I make those,” the avid angler says in a clip posted by one NASCAR reporter. “I got a pretty cool recipe. ... The nacho and the seaweed salad, a little bit of tuna, and then some sauce, you know, it's good stuff.”

RELATED: Does Newly Crowned NASCAR Champ Ryan Blaney Have His Eyes on Indy 500?

Though Truex Jr. didn't share his tuna nachos recipe, he spoke a little more about his passion for whipping up savory meals.

“I like to cook, when it comes to fish and wild game and things like that, I like to grill, so I like to make things like that,” revealed the 2017 Cup Series champion. “There's a lot of things people don't know about me, I guess, that's one of them. ... I’m kinda quiet, I don’t tell people a lot. I like to keep things private.”

Outside of stock car racing, one thing the quiet speedster has elaborated on in the past is his biggest catch ever. In a video segment for NASCAR on NBC from 2021, Truex Jr. fielded questions from elementary school-aged kids and one 5-year-old asked the driver what the biggest fish he ever caught was.

What's the biggest fish Martin Truex Jr. ever caught?

“The biggest fish — bluefin tuna in Canada ... 570 pounds," Truex Jr. answered on the NASCAR on NBC segment. "[I picked it up] with a crane. Yeah, I’m not lifting it.”

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In discussing the process of reeling in the behemoth, the driver revealed: "It’s not as hard as you think. I think it was like 55 minutes. That's my biggest fish ever.”

But those interested in hearing what a monster fish like that tastes like, and how 
Truex Jr. decided to cook and serve it, will be disappointed.

“No, we didn’t kiss it, we sold it,” the Toyota wheelman revealed. “We weren’t allowed to keep it, but we got good pictures with it.”   

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