Home » FEATURE STORY, NASCAR - Sprint Cup Series

Red Hot Martin Truex Jr. Is A Dover Dominator

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 2 2016
Martin Truex Jr. won Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Dover. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Rusty Jarrett )

Martin Truex Jr. won Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Dover. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Rusty Jarrett )


Martin Truex Jr. took advantage of a mistake by the pit crew of Jimmie Johnson with 125 laps to go and went on to win Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway.

The victory was the second of the 10-race Chase playoffs for Truex and his third in the last five sprint-logo-08races. It was the Furniture Row Racing driver’s fourth win of the season and the seventh of his career.

It certainly sends him to the Round of 12, which begins next Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with big momentum.

“We’re not messing around, I guess,” Truex said in Victory Lane. “What else can you say? We are here to get it done.”

Chaser Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing finished second in the race – the final race in the Round of 16.

Third was rookie and Chase driver Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports. Chasers Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.

All of the top-five finishers advanced to the next round of the playoffs.

“We’ve just had a solid three races here,” Keselowski said. “Nothing flashy, but nice, strong, consistent top-fives.  That’s something to be proud of and we have to keep it going and keep finding the speed and hope to get some wins along the way so we can be ready for Homestead.”

Eliminated from the Chase were rookie Chris Buescher, the Chip Ganassi Racing duo of Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson, and three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart, who will retire at the end of the season.

Keselowski started from the pole and led until he was passed by Truex five laps in.

Busch took the lead from Truex on Lap 21 and held it until he was passed by Truex on Lap 125. Quickly moving past Busch into second place was Johnson.

Truex held the lead until he lost it to Johnson on a Lap 190 restart. Johnson had a 1.5-second lead over Truex when green flag pit stops began on Lap 276. But on that stop, Johnson was penalized when a crew member went over the wall too soon.

Taking back the lead was Truex. And a big lead it was as it climbed to over 11 seconds during the stint.

With 43 laps to go, the final green flag stops began. When Truex pitted with 36 laps to go, his lead was 12-plus seconds. When the pitting had cycled through with 24 laps to go, Truex’s advantage over second-place Busch was 9 seconds.

From there to the end, Truex, who grew up in nearby New Jersey, cruised.

“I love this race track,” he said. “It’s been considered for me a home track for a long time.”

Only six drivers finished on the lead lap.

Busch said credit the speed of Truex for that.

“We’re not bad,” Busch said. “I mean, obviously our cars are really fast, we just haven’t been able to find all of it that the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) had so far. Those guys are doing a phenomenal job, but can’t say enough about everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, TRD (Toyota Racing Development). This M&M’s Camry today was really, really good and class of my field, my zip code, my area code. But, we just kept working on it all day long. We had loose, tight, both and it was just better to be on the looser side and just try to maintain the rear tires and keep them underneath you for the long haul and see what you could get.”

The sixth driver was Joey Logano, who also advanced to Round 2.

“Overall, we did what we had to do,” the Team Penske driver said.  “The points are back to zero and we can head to the next round and try to get a win.  Every track is different.  Dover is obviously a beast of its own.  It’s a very cool race track, but everything is so different compared to where we’re gonna go next week to Charlotte and then Kansas and Talladega.  They’re all gonna be a lot different for sure, but we’ll take what we learned here for next year and I’m sure there are some things that we can apply to the next race, but most of it is kind of track-specific.”

(This story will be updated shortly)


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Citizen Soldier 400

Dover International Speedway

Dover, Delaware

Sunday, October 02, 2016

  1. (2) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 400.
  2. (3) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 400.
  3. (9) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 400.
  4. (1) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 400.
  5. (4) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 400.
  6. (5) Joey Logano, Ford, 400.
  7. (8) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 399.
  8. (14) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 399.
  9. (7) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 399.
  10. (18) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 399.
  11. (22) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 399.
  12. (17) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 399.
  13. (15) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 399.
  14. (10) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 399.
  15. (11) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 398.
  16. (27) Aric Almirola, Ford, 398.
  17. (19) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 397.
  18. (25) Greg Biffle, Ford, 396.
  19. (21) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 396.
  20. (23) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 395.
  21. (34) Brian Scott #, Ford, 395.
  22. (26) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 395.
  23. (16) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 394.
  24. (28) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 394.
  25. (12) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 394.
  26. (29) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 394.
  27. (35) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 393.
  28. (24) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 393.
  29. (31) Landon Cassill, Ford, 392.
  30. (32) David Ragan, Toyota, 392.
  31. (33) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 391.
  32. (30) Ty Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 390.
  33. (37) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 387.
  34. (36) * Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, 386.
  35. (39) * Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 385.
  36. (38) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Ford, 384.
  37. (6) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 354.
  38. (20) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 281.
  39. (40) * Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Engine, 196.
  40. (13) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, Engine, 192.


Average Speed of Race Winner:  130.969 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 03 Mins, 15 Secs. Margin of Victory:  7.527 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  4 for 22 laps.

Lead Changes:  14 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   B. Keselowski 1-5; M. Truex Jr. 6-20; Kyle Busch 21-35; M. Truex Jr. 36; Kyle Busch 37-105; M. Truex Jr. 106; Kyle Busch 107-124; M. Truex Jr. 125-188; J. Johnson 189-277; B. Keselowski 278-279; G. Biffle 280-286; M. Truex Jr. 287-365; J. Johnson 366; J. Gordon 367-373; M. Truex Jr. 374-400.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  M. Truex Jr. 6 times for 187 laps; Kyle Busch 3 times for 102 laps; J. Johnson 2 times for 90 laps; G. Biffle 1 time for 7 laps; B. Keselowski 2 times for 7 laps; J. Gordon 1 time for 7 laps.

Top 16 in Points: M. Truex Jr. – 2,131; Kyle Busch – 2,125; B. Keselowski – 2,125; M. Kenseth – 2,114; J. Logano – 2,108; C. Elliott # – 2,106; J. Johnson – 2,105; D. Hamlin – 2,103; C. Edwards – 2,095; Kurt Busch – 2,093; A. Dillon – 2,085; K. Harvick – 2,075; T. Stewart – 2,074; K. Larson – 2,073; J. Mcmurray – 2,053; C. Buescher # – 2,045.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 2 2016
No Comment