Shocking NASCAR Breakup, Chase Elliott Hooters Drama, Daytona Dancer, Swimsuit Contest, Gordon On Jimmy Fallon

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Ahem … is this thing on? Can everyone hear me? Yeah? Ok, Good. For the first time in 2023, it’s officially a NASCAR race week!

Buckle up, strap up, pull those damn belts tight one more time (shoutout to Larry Mac), because we’re less than one week away from an actual green flag.

Yes, it’s in LA when it should be in Daytona – there’s a reason people leave California for Florida, you know – but we’ll let that slide here. Don’t want to dampen the mood on our first race week of the year.

The offseason is over, boys and girls. OK, technically there’s still one more off week before the Daytona 500, but that’s just stupid semantics. We’ve made it. No more wedding photos, relationship updates, power couple rankings … none of that!

Just kidding. We still have plenty of it this week, because there has been some MAJOR movement on that front, starting with a stunning NASCAR breakup between Martin Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex.

More on that in a minute.

Elsewhere, Hailie Deegan crushed Daytona along with a pair of rising star power couples the NASCAR world, Chase Elliott and Hooters are a match made in heaven, Jeff Gordon led the fellas on a trip to New York City, Denny Hamlin thinks Jimmie Johnson’s in trouble and much, much more.

It’s a loaded potato kinda day, folks.

Four tires and whatever offseason Sunoco fuel you have left, because we have to use the rest of it today. Monday Morning Pit-Stop – the ‘Breakups & Breakdancing’ Offseason Edition – is LIVE!

Martin Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex shock NASCAR world.
Martin Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex breakup and shock NASCAR world. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr., Sherry Pollex stun NASCAR world

OK, let’s start with the sad news before putting this puppy into high gear.

I’ve gotta be honest with you … I did NOT see this coming. I don’t know why, but it just never crossed my mind that these two would call it a day.

But, as it life, as they say.

Brutal. Martin Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex have been in the game forever – they’re up there with Kyle and Samantha Busch as the NASCAR OGs in the power couple game.

Sherry had a pretty publicized cancer battle a few years back, and then Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Cup title in 2017 and it was a fairytale sort of ending. So yes, this one caught me off guard.

Tough scene, but that’s the life of a NASCAR driver, I reckon. MTJ ain’t the first driver to see a longtime relationship end and he won’t be the last.

As the fellas say, ‘It’s just one of them racin’ deals.’

Sherry Pollex.
Sherry Pollex is back on the market.

Harrison Burton wins Rolex 24 week race, enters NASCAR power couple conversation

As we close the book on Martin and Sherry, I’m delighted to share that we’re opening another on Harrison Burton and girlfriend Jenna Petty.

Didn’t know these two were a thing before this week, but I’m glad we’ve figured it out.

Harrison was in Daytona this week for the Rolex 24, and actually won his Friday race along with teammate Zane Smith. Hailie Deegan finished third in that same race and led a few laps early on.

Anyway, turns out Harrison’s girlfriend is Jenna Petty, who is currently the captain for the High Point University dance team and set to graduate next year.

These two lovebirds were also in the Bahamas last week to celebrate the marriage of Todd and Marissa Gilliland, along with Smith and McCall Gaulding.

Talk about Power Couple USA! This sport is in good hands moving forward. We’re in the Burrow-Mahomes-Allen era of NASCAR power couples right now.

Have to enjoy greatness when you can.

Harrison Burton and Jenna Petty. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images)
Rising NASCAR stars McCall Gaulding and Jenna Petty.
McCall Gaulding and Jenna Petty are rising NASCAR stars.

Chase Elliott back with Hooters, confirms wing conspiracy

From a couple young OGs to one of the gold standards – Chase Elliott.

Clyde was (shockingly!) part of the crew NASCAR chose to represent the sport in last week’s NYC takeover (more on that in a second), but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have time for a quick bite and photoshoot at Hooters.

Elliott’s longtime sponsor is back once again for 2023 – again, shockingly – and the two are actually unveiling their new paint scheme this week.

If you remember, we actually started this offseason with some serious controversy when Ryan Blaney accused one Chase Elliott of eating Hooters wings with a fork, which Chase swiftly shut down before things got out of hand.

Anyway, looks like we’ve found the smoking gun. And, unfortunately for Chase (but not OJ!), the glove fits.

Jeff Gordon, Ryan Blaney represent NASCAR in New York City

Let’s go from wings to apples, and check in with Jeff Gordon – who NASCAR is very clearly grooming to be its next spokesperson.

Well, I guess “next” isn’t right, because Gordon was NASCAR – along with Dale Sr. – for years back in the 90s and early-2000s. So, I guess this is his second act?

I don’t know. But, I DO know that the 51-year-old was all over New York City last week promoting the sport’s 75th anniversary season. And by all over, I mean he was on Wall Street, on the TODAY Show, on Sirius XM AND on Jimmy Fallon.

So, yeah … NASCAR is going back to the Jeff Gordon well this season.

Anyway, Gordon dropped some much-needed truth-bombs on Fallon about driving etiquette, and I’d like all of our Florida readers to pay attention here.

Spot on, Jeff. Spoken like a true Hall of Famer and four-time champion. Nothing bugs me more than idiots who drive 75 MPH in the left lane on 95.

If it was socially acceptable, I’d put their asses in the fence so quick even Dale Sr. back in his prime would’ve been proud.

Anyway, here are some of the best moments from NASCAR’s NYC takeover last week, including Daniel Suarez ringing the NYSE Bell.

Didn’t see that coming, did you?!

Denny Hamlin thinks Jimmie Johnson might stink this year

Finally, on our way out …

Looks like Denny Hamlin is getting his very own podcast, which is set to debut early next month. He’s doing it in conjunction with Dale Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media, and it’ll aptly be called Actions Detrimental.

Look, I know Denny is VERY divisive in this sport, but I think this is gonna must-listen every week. I used to hate Denny Hamlin – seriously, after the Chase incident at Martinsville a few years ago I swore him off completely – but I’m all in on him now.

Anyone who says exactly what they’re thinking and doesn’t BS us is good in my book – and for this column – which is why Hamlin and Kyle Busch are regulars here.

Speaking of speaking their minds … Denny, what do you think of Jimmie Johnson coming back this year?!

“I hate tainting what I think about him if he comes in a struggles, which is the most likely scenario,” he said.


Hamlin, by the way, ain’t wrong.

Let’s be honest, folks. Jimmie Johnson wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire towards the end of his full-time career, and now he’s coming back after two years off, with a worse team and a new car?

Yeah, that’ll go great!

Tara Allmendinger scores big points at swimsuit competition

On our way out, Part 2!

Can’t call it a day without congratulating AJ Alleminger’s wife, Tara, on a big showing at the National Mrs. USA Earth Pageant earlier this month!

Tara and AJ, by the way, are another OG power couple, but that goes without saying.

Put those goals to paper, fellas. If you take anything from today’s column, it’s that.

All right, that’s it. Welcome to the first race week of 2023. Let’s go kick some LA Coliseum butt and put on a good showing for the world, folks.

Take us home, Larry Mac!

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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