Truex counts blessings as foundation offers support to Sandy victims

Driver Martin Truex Jr. (R) and Sherry Pollex (L) pose during the NASCAR Evening Series at Charlie Palmer Steak part of the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas on November 28, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

LAS VEGAS — New Jersey native Martin Truex Jr. and his family were lucky.

When hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast in late October, the Truex home avoided major damage, but those living close by weren’t as fortunate.

“My family made out very well for the situation and the area that they are in,” Truex said Thursday before leaving for the NASCAR Victory Lap on the Las Vegas Strip. “They’re a mile from people that lost their homes and had serious flooding and a really bad time with it. We were very fortunate that all of my close friends and family didn’t have any major problems, which is great.

“But, at the same time a lot of people in the community are struggling. Lost houses and things and places where I grew up going to, like the Jersey shore, right there is just in shambles. We’re trying to do all we can to help. My foundation set up a fund, and we’ve raised I think over $150,000 up to this week, and we’re starting to disperse those funds to families and help people that really need it.”

Given his non-stop late-season schedule, Truex hasn’t had a chance to visit his home state since the hurricane, but his charitable work has arrived ahead of him.

“We took a truck load of supplies up there two weeks ago, I think, and we’re getting ready to do another one. Just trying to help as much as we can, giving back and trying to get those people on their feet, because it was a tough time for them.

“No, I haven’t been back, and I won’t be probably until Christmas. That will be really our first time. We’ve been so busy it’s been hard to get away.”

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