Ask any NASCAR fan who was watching the Nov. 19 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and they’ll tell you there were a number storylines to watch. The race would not only determine the season champion, but also marked the end of the full-time careers of hard racers Danica Patrick, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. So it comes as no surprise that perhaps the biggest storyline of the race might have been missed.

Martin Truex Jr. nearly choked to death.

Let us explain.

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Just minutes after being crowned the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, Martin proceeded to do one of his iconic burnouts to celebrate. But as the video shows, an insane amount of smoke began to fill the cockpit of his racecar.

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“I talked to [Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser] as soon as I got done filling my lungs with purple or yellow — whatever color paint that was — on the front straightaway smoke,” he said in a post-race interview with USA Today about the burnout. “Oh my God, I literally thought I was going to die getting out of the car. I couldn’t get my radio unhooked and my helmet hose, and I’m, like, choking to death. So right after that, it was awful. I thought I was in a forest fire.”

So glad he’s OK!

Martin Truex Jr. recalls the scary moment he had minutes after his championship win NASCAR.COM
Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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