NASCAR: Martin Truex Jr. scores first win since 2021 at Dover

It's the fourth win at Dover for Truex

DOVER, DELAWARE - MAY 01: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, and Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 Jockey Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400 at Dover International Speedway on May 01, 2023 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr. scored his first win since 2021 in Monday's rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr. scored the fourth Dover victory of his career when he kept Ross Chastain at bay over the final laps of Monday’s NASCAR Cup Series race.

Truex Jr. was leading and navigating lapped traffic ahead of Chastain in second place when Joey Logano crashed with 14 laps to go. Truex then pitted for two tires and retained the lead ahead of a restart with seven laps to go.

Chastain restarted third behind Ryan Blaney, and Blaney gave Truex a good run for the lead right after the restart. But Truex powered ahead of Blaney in the first two laps of the restart and maintained a half-second gap to Chastain for the final five laps.

“Feels incredible,” Truex said after climbing from his car. “Felt like we’ve been close a bunch of times, and we’ve gave some away for sure.”

The win comes two days after Truex’s brother, Ryan, won the first Xfinity Series race of his career at Dover on Saturday, and it snaps a 54-race winless streak for Martin Truex Jr. Until Monday, Truex’s last win had been at Richmond in September 2021.

Truex’s winless 2022 meant he missed NASCAR’s playoffs for the first time since 2014. That winless season almost a decade ago came in Truex’s first season with Furniture Row Racing after Michael Waltrip Racing lost Truex’s longtime sponsor, NAPA, following its race manipulation scandal at Richmond in 2013.

Truex won one race in 2015, and his career took off in 2016, as he won four races before winning eight races and the Cup Series title in 2017. Monday’s win was Truex’s 32nd in his career, and all but two of them have come since the 2014 season.

Ross Chastain ends Kyle Larson’s chances at a win

Larson had a fast car throughout the first part of the race but was involved in a crash on lap 80 after Chastain sent the lapped car of Brennan Poole spinning into Turn 1.

Poole’s car spun onto the apron and into the path of Larson as it came back up the track and into the outside wall. Larson was running behind Chastain at the time and had nowhere to go in the high lane as Chastain escaped the incident with his car intact.

Chastain said over the radio that he didn’t mean to spin Poole’s backmarker car, and LaCrson was understandably upset about Chastain’s move.

He showed that displeasure with Chastain with less than 20 laps to go, as Chastain was trying to chase Truex down before the caution flag. As Larson and his damaged car were lapped by Truex, he positioned himself in front of Chastain’s car for nearly a lap and cost Chastain a bunch of time to Truex.

It was a move that could've ultimately helped Truex win the race had it gone green to the finish.

Willam Byron leads nearly half the laps, finishes fourth

Byron led 193 of the race’s 400 laps but ended up fourth after his car didn’t have the same speed in the second half of the race as it did in the beginning. Byron was passed for the lead by Chastain on lap 286 at the beginning of the third stage of the race and never led again, as Chastain and Truex became the cars to beat.

Truex had a fast car for much of the day but had to spend the middle part of the race regaining track position he lost because of a bad pit stop while Chastain led 98 laps. Truex’s 68 laps led all came after lap 330.

Just 12 cars finished on the lead lap. Polesitter Kyle Busch was three laps down after he sped on pit road early in the race and suffered front-end damage after hitting Ty Dillon as the field slowed behind Daniel Suarez's spinning car early in the race.

Race results

1. Martin Truex Jr.

2. Ross Chastain

3. Ryan Blaney

4. William Byron

5. Denny Hamlin

6. Christopher Bell

7. Tyler Reddick

8. Brad Keselowski

9. Chris Buescher

10. Josh Berry

11. Chase Elliott

12. Bubba Wallace

13. Ty Gibbs

14. Corey LaJoie

15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

16. Erik Jones

17. Ryan Preece

18. AJ Allmendinger

19. Kevin Harvick

20. Harrison Burton

21. Kyle Busch

22. Michael McDowell

23. Justin Haley

24. Aric Almirola

25. Todd Gilliland

26. Austin Cindric

27. Austin Dillon

28. JJ Yeley

29. BJ McLeod

30. Chase Briscoe

31. Joey Logano

32. Kyle Larson

33. Brennan Poole

34. Noah Grayson

35. Daniel Suarez

36. Ty Dillon