Race Weekend Central

Cole Pearn Stepping Away from NASCAR

Cole Pearn will leave Joe Gibbs Racing to follow other opportunities outside of NASCAR, the team announced Monday (Dec. 9).

Pearn led Martin Truex Jr. to second place in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series standings as the crew chief of the No. 19. He also coached the team to seven wins, 15 top fives and 24 top 10s.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision,” Pearn said a team 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.”

Pearn and Truex won the 2017 Cup championship while with Furniture Row Racing and entered in the Championship 4 four times. Since 2016, the pair’s 23 wins lead all the driver-crew chief pairings in that period.

“I cannot say enough good things about Cole and what he has meant for my career,” Truex said. “I appreciate his hard work and dedication to our race team over the past six years going back to when he was my engineer at Furniture Row. Our friendship is what matters most to me and I’m happy that he’s doing what’s best for him and his family.”

The No. 19’s crew chief has yet to be announced.

About the author

Joy joined Frontstretch in 2019 as a NASCAR DraftKings writer, expanding to news and iRacing coverage in 2020. She's currently an assistant editor and involved with photos, social media and news editing. A California native, Joy was raised as a motorsports fan and started watching NASCAR extensively in 2001. She earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Bakersfield in 2010.

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No more trick cars for Marty. 23 wins since 2016 with Cole. Will see how many truex gets in the next few years. Marty was non existent in cup until Cole came along. Reality time Marty.


He had decent success at MWR so I wouldnt expect a massive decline. I do expect a somewhat small decline as Cole proved himself as one of the best in the business.


Don’t think he will drop to Chase Elliot depth anytime soon.


MAD MARTY was in CUP for a long time with very, very little success. Had one of the longest if not the longest winless drought for a very, very long time. Before that drought ONLY one or two came his way if memory serves. I find it very suspicious at his old age he suddenly “learned how to drive”. He was damn lucky he was buddies with Goonyer, he would have been a goner, imo.


Reading up, even though I know you hate the guy (or at least dislike him greatly), I think the dig on his talent is based on emotion and not facts.

He started Busch series with his family’s team in 2001 and got signed by Chance 2 Motorsports (which is now JR Motorsports, I think) for a partial season in 2003. He then won consecutive Busch series titles in 2004 and 2005 (beating the Great Kyle Busch for the title in 2004).

In 2005 he moved to DEI, and within 3 seasons made “the Chase” – right as DEI was basically closing its doors. Sold out to (“partnered” with) Ganassi – who was definitely not a Hendricks / Roush / Gibbs level team at the time. He spent one season there before moving to the newly formed Michael Waltrip Racing team – which occasionally showed signs of promise but could ultimately not seem to get out of their own way.

Truex signed with Furniture Row for 2014. I think most fans know the rest from there without needing a refresher.

For a guy who spent his entire career with teams that were new, in turmoil, or ultimately closing, I think he’s done pretty well. A “No-Talent Hack” could not deal with such diversity and still have the resume of success he has had. Does this mean he’s the best ever? By no means, but even if you don’t like the guy one has to admit he has talent beyond just whining.

DEI (no more). MWR (no more). FRR (no more). Is this a sign that JGR will be closing its doors in the next few years? ;-)


Wow! This is some shocking news! Saw this in my google news feed and thought maybe it was spam so I immediately went to frontstretch and am in shock.
Just shows the demand this sport requires from its personnel.


I imagine he’ll be back in Canada with his family and will probably get involved in racing at Delaware Speedway. His father was pretty good there.


I wonder if his opportunity involves working on Carl Edwards farm! In all seriousness, wish him nothing but the best.

Bill B

There is nothing more that I respect than someone walking away from money and fame to do what is supposed to be and should be most important to all of us. If he was smart he should have a pretty good bank account. I wish him all the best.

I doubt Truex will have the same level of success from here on out. At least he is with a team that is at the top of the sport so he will still be able to have some wins. It’s just that I believe in chemistry and it’s rare that any driver can be matched up with any crew chief and have the same magic happen. It could but it’s highly improbable.


Good, the nasty BUG EYED DOUCHE is leaving! Hip Hip Hooray! Now if Mad Marty will follow his man, it will be all good. Two whiners in one shot, gone! A girl can dream..sigh.


…..and the “EYE DOUCHE” thang is the sweet(sarcasm) Coles words, out of his horse shaped mouth, not mine.


Imo his spotter is the biggest whiner of them all.


IMO that guy is flat out freaking NUTS!. But the JGR empire is a never ending revolving door of personal sans a few being show out of the org. He might be gone too!



Bill B

Death and taxes and ….


…..So clever. Santa should be as slick as you. Merry Christmas “Bill B”.

Bill B

Merry Christmas to you too kb.
Maybe Santa will make Cole’s replacement someone you like better.

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