Philanthropist Sherry Pollex succumbed to ovarian cancer on Sunday after fighting the disease for nine years, the New York Post reported. Pollex, 44, was the daughter of a NASCAR team owner and the former longtime girlfriend of driver Martin Truex, Jr.
Pollex and Truex Jr. dated from 2005 until announcing their split in January of 2023. During that time, Pollex became known around the world of auto racing for her charity work, beginning with the 2007 inception of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.
The charity was dedicated to helping children with cancer and eventually included the cause of ovarian cancer. In 2010, Pollex used the organization to launch Catwalk for a Cause charity fashion show featuring stars in and around NASCAR.
Truex Jr. commended Pollex's bravery in a post on Instagram Sunday evening. "From the very minute of her diagnosis, Sherry was determined to not only fight ovarian cancer with everything she had but also make a difference in the lives of others battling this terrible disease," he wrote.
"Sherry’s passion for making a difference in the lives of others was inspiring to everyone. Through her tireless charity work for so many years, her legacy will live well beyond our lifetimes and continue to help countless families who are battling ovarian and childhood cancer," Truex Jr. continued.
"I would like to extend my deepest condolences to her entire family, who have shown incredible strength and resilience throughout her battle," he added. Pollex began her battle with the disease in 2014 when she was just 35 years old.
Even before her charitable endeavors, Pollex had deep ties to the sport. Besides being the daughter of Greg Pollex, the owner of PPC Racing, Sharon Pollex worked with a marking team linked to NASCAR.
Some of the biggest names in the sport shared their condolences after hearing the news of her death. "She was such a fighter," racing legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted.
"Inspiring in how she went about her own challenges but also how she learned to live every day to its fullest. Amy and I were lucky to have known her and call her a friend," Earnhardt Jr. said, referring to his wife.
However, former NASCAR driver Danica Patrick used the occasion of Sharon Pollex's death to stir up trouble, Fox News reported. While she didn't name Truex Jr., her post was a direct slam at his statement following his former girlfriend's death.
"I avoid negativity on social at almost all costs," Patrick wrote. "Almost…. But this is the most insensitive disconnected statement from a guy that I have never liked. And obviously for good reason," Patrick wrote.
"I don’t care what happened between them but this is as cold as it gets. A PR rep wrote this guaranteed. You’re free from this now Sherry," Patrick added.
There's no obvious reason why Patrick had such a visceral reaction to the Truex Jr. She has not even been relevant in the sport since 2018, when she finished 35th at Daytona in the NASCAR Cup Series.
A woman like Sharon Pollex left the world a better place in her 44 years. The people whose lives she touched and the children she helped will surely keep her legacy alive, even if Patrick isn't satisfied with the way the woman's former boyfriend memorialized her.