Notes of Interest

● Where We Stand: The New Jersey native heads to Dover second in the driver standings with 344 points, 15 behind leader Kyle Larson. All four Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) entries are currently inside the top-13 in points heading to the 11th race of the season, with Denny Hamlin sixth, Ty Gibbs eighth, and Christopher Bell 13th.

● Up Front: All four JGR Toyota Camry XSE drivers are among the leaders in total laps led this season. Larson’s 531 laps tops the list for the Cup Series, followed by Hamlin (399), Truex (368) and Gibbs (201) in second, third and fourth, respectively. Bell is ninth on the list with 120 laps led.

● Brotherly Love: At a track that sits a little over an hour drive from the City of Brotherly Love – Philadelphia – Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway was just that one year ago for the Truex brothers. On Saturday of last year’s Dover Cup Series and Xfinity Series weekend, Ryan Truex was able to bring home his first-ever Xfinity Series victory. And in Monday’s Cup Series race, Martin Truex Jr., led 68 laps and brought home his fourth Cup Series victory at what the native of Mayetta, New Jersey, considers his home track.

● First of Many: Truex’s first career NASCAR Cup Series victory came at Dover in June 2007. His record there shows it definitely feels like home. Truex has four career Cup Series wins at Dover, making it one of five tracks where he has three or more career wins. The others are Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, where he also has four wins, and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, and Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, where he as three wins apiece.

● In addition to his four wins in his 33 career Cup Series outings at Dover, Truex has 10 top-five finishes, 19 top-10s, and he’s led a total of 1,069 laps. His average Dover finish is 11.4.

● With his aforementioned four Dover wins, Truex is now the winningest active driver at Dover, one ahead of former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Truex’s three career poles at Dover ties him with JGR teammate Denny Hamlin for most among active drivers.

● Truex has run particularly well at Dover since joining JGR in 2019. After scoring his first win for the team at Richmond in April of that year, he followed it up two weeks later with a victory at Dover, then made it three wins there with JGR last April. Truex has five top-five finishes at Dover in his seven starts there with JGR.

● Looking for 35: Truex’s win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon last July was his most recent Cup Series win, the 34th of his career, tying him with 2004 Cup Series champion Kurt Busch for 25th on the all-time Cup Series win list.

● Ahead at this Stage: Truex has accumulated 62 stage wins since the beginning of the stage era in 2017. He is the only driver with 10 or more stage sweeps, with his latest sweep coming at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn last August. Truex scored his first stage win of the season at Richmond earlier this season, leading the field across the line at the end of Stage 2.

Martin Truex Jr., Driver of the No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry XSE

After winning at Dover last year, what are your expectations heading back there this weekend?

“The whole weekend was pretty special last year. For Ryan (Truex) to finally get that first Xfinity win out of the way was really cool – at our home track and probably one of my favorite tracks was really neat. Look forward at having a shot at doing it again here this weekend with our Bass Pro Shops Camry.”

Dover seems to suit veteran drivers a lot more than some other tracks. Why do you think that is?

“Certainly experience is important there, it’s a difficult place. It’s concrete and is a lot different than what we do most other weeks. It seems to always be a place where you are guessing what the track is going to do on Sunday. I think the veterans probably understand the place more than many because we’ve seen it do different things over the years. We’ve had a good cars and a good team there and have been fortunate to have a lot of good runs at Dover.”

With Dover hosting the race that’s closest to your hometown in New Jersey, do you view Dover as your home track?

“I view Dover as my home track, it’s closest to home. If you could drive across the bay, it would be really close. It’s close to home, for sure. I’ve been going there a long time and it’s a place that means a lot to me, starting early in my Busch Series career, and doing some racing there in my dad’s car, and my first Cup win there, as well. We’ve had a lot of success there, too. It’s a special place for me and I love going there, it feels like home. We have a lot of friends and family who go to that race, as well, and hoping we can get them a win with our Bass Pro Shops Camry.”

When you race at Dover, is it a larger contingent of friends and family than usual who get to attend and watch you race?

“No question, most of my friends and family come to that race. We’ve got quite the cheering section, which is pretty cool. We are racing so much all over the country that it’s nice to see some familiar faces and get to spend a little bit of time with friends and family. Maybe just a little bit of extra time before the race, but definitely well worth it.”

What do you and your team need to lean on to have a successful race at Dover this weekend?

“Just build on what we learned last year and so far this year, and I think it’s important we qualify well, so hopefully we do that. Generally, when you qualify well there, you get a good pit stall and it sets you up for a smoother day. Staying out front all day long is very important, and track position is very important since it’s hard to pass. It’s a very fast track and you want to keep your track position. Hopefully we can qualify well and it can set us up for a really good day. Corner speeds are so high at Dover that it does become hard to pass. But we’ve also had years where it’s been hard to pass and we’ve driven through the whole field there, like in 2019. You’ve got to get your car dialed in right and, if you can do that, you can do pretty much what you want with it.”

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