Truex wins NASCAR race at Dover for 3rd time on a Monday
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. mastered the Monster Mile on a Monday for the third time in his career and the former NASCAR champion snapped a 54-race winless streak overall in the Cup Series at Dover Motor Speedway.
Thanks to a race postponed a day because of rain, it was a long weekend sweep for the Truex brothers. Younger brother Ryan Truex won the second-tier Xfinity Series race on Saturday for his first NASCAR victory across all three national series in 188 career starts.
Big brother poked his head in Ryan’s Toyota as he pulled it into victory lane. Martin appreciated the winning weekend for the family.
“It’s just special,” Truex said. “It was such a big day for our family to see Ryan do that on Saturday.”
Martin knows how to get to victory lane at Dover. The 2017 Cup champion has the blueprint on how to win at the Monster Mile on a Monday. Truex raced to his first NASCAR Cup win on June 4, 2007, at Dover and 12 years later used another rainout to take the checkered flag on May 6, 2019.
Truex also won a regularly scheduled Sunday race here in 2016.
Truex held strong on the outside lane Monday off the final restart to hold off runner-up Ross Chastain by a half-second. Ryan Blaney, William Byron and Denny Hamlin completed the top five.
“We knew we could do this,” Truex said. “It just never all came together.”
Truex was once of the most dominant drivers in the series, winning a career-best eight times in 2017 and 23 times overall from 2016 to 2019. But the Joe Gibbs Racing driver had been winless since his last Cup victory on Sept. 11, 2021, at Richmond Raceway.
Determined to rebound from a winless season, Truex opened his 18th full season with an exhibition victory in the Busch Light Clash in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
He did have three top-10 finishes this season in the No. 19 Toyota, but couldn’t find his way to victory lane until Monday. He earned his 32nd career Cup victory and became the 10th driver to win four or more Cup races at Dover.
“It feels nice to get one to come around our way,” Truex said.
So you’re telling me there’s a chance?
Noah Gragson made the cut.
No, not to victory lane, but to his head when he shaved the sides and left only a mop-topped shock of hair on top.
Gragson joked, “I’m gonna put it right on black, baby,” as he flashed an autographed $100 bill from fellow NASCAR driver Austin Dillon as part the payout for the bet that the Legacy Motor Club driver would get a bowl cut.
“Some say I lost a bet,” Gragson said. “I think I won.”
He sure didn’t win at Dover, finishing 34th because of an early wreck. Gragson hasn’t finished better than 30th in any of his last five races.
He said it
“Probably needs to get his butt whooped,” Brennan Poole after he was hit by Ross Chastain in a wreck that also took out Kyle Larson.
NASCAR heads to Kansas Speedway. Kurt Busch won likely the last race of his career there after it was cut short because of a head injury suffered in a crash at Pocono last summer. Bubba Wallace won the fall race at the track.