Fresh off the best season of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career, Martin Truex Jr. has been named the 2015 Colorado Professional Athlete of the Year by Mile High Sports Magazine.

Truex had an outstanding 2015 campaign driving for the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team. He opened the year with top-10 finishes in 13 of the first 15 races, winding up with one victory, eight top fives and 22 top 10s. Truex was also the year's most improved driver in terms of points, rising from 24th in 2014 to fourth this season.

"I am deeply honored to be recognized in the home state of our Furniture Row Racing team," said Truex in a statement released by the team on Thursday. "Though it will be showcased as an individual honor, the Mile High Sports award would never have been possible if it weren't for the talented and dedicated group of people at our Denver shop for giving me fast race cars throughout the season.

"Our team owner and Denver native Barney Visser has given us the resources to compete with the top teams of the sport. And Joe Garone, another Denver native, has skillfully guided the program in his role as general manager. Needless to say, our results in 2015 have been a total team effort. I also want to give a shout out to all the Colorado NASCAR fans for their support, which means so much to everyone associated with Furniture Row Racing."

Previous winners of the Mile High Sports Magazine award include Peyton Manning (NFL's Denver Broncos), Carmelo Anthony (NBA's Denver Nuggets) and Joe Sakic (NHL's Colorado Avalanche).

"On Monday mornings in Colorado, you talk about how the Broncos played on Sunday. It's just what you do. But this year, on more than one occasion, Monday morning included conversations about how well Furniture Row Racing and Martin Truex Jr. did over the weekend," said Mile High Sports Magazine editor-in-chief Doug Ottewill. "The fact that this team got the general sports fan talking about, and interested in, motor sports is remarkable. Truex and his team put our state on the map in a sport where we'd previously had little, if any, representation. That's a remarkable feat, and it's exactly why we chose to honor him. Simply put, they were excellent all season long."

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