Twelve years ago, Martin Truex, Jr. won his very first NASCAR Cup Series race. It came at Dover International Speedway and it came in a race that was pushed back a day from Sunday because of weather issues.
On Monday, Truex, the 2017 Monster Energy series champion, got his second victory of the 2019 season and it came at Dover and it came after rain forced the postponement of Sunday’s race.
“Man, it feels incredible,” he said. “What a race car we had today.”
Truex, who started from the rear of the field in the Gander RV 400 after being issued a penalty for twice failing inspection on Sunday, led 132 of 400 laps in getting his first victory in 11 starts for Joe Gibbs Racing.
It was the New Jersey native’s third win at Dover. He posted his first of the season at Richmond and has two second-place finishes this season.
Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman followed up his runner-up finish at Talladega a week ago by finishing second at Dover’s “Monster Mile” – over 9 seconds back.
Kyle Larson, who had crashed in three of his previous four races (the third of which saw him barrel-rolling on the last lap a week ago), finished third to pick up his first top-five of the season in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
Kevin Harvick, seeking his first victory of the season after winning eight times a year ago, finished fourth for Stewart Haas Racing.
Rounding out the top five was Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott, who won last weekend’s race at Talladega and who started on the pole on Monday.
Kyle Busch of the Gibbs team finished 10th. That gave him 11 top-ten finishes in all 11 races this season and tied him with Morgan Shepherd for most top-10s to start a season.
Truex moved steadily up through the field. He took his first lead late in the second stage. He moved to the lead for a second time with 53 laps to go and from there cruised to the victory.