Notes of Interest

● Where We Stand: The New Jersey native sits fifth in the driver standings with 508 points, 53 behind leader Kyle Larson. All four Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) entries are currently inside the top-10 in the standings with Denny Hamlin third, Ty Gibbs eighth and Christopher Bell ninth as the series heads to the inaugural Cup Series race at Iowa.

● After a trip to the West Coast this past weekend at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to America’s Heartland for its inaugural race this Sunday at Iowa Speedway in Newton. While the track is new to the Cup Series, it is not new to NASCAR. The .875-mile oval located less than 40 miles east of the capital city of Des Moines played host to the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series from 2009 through 2019, holding a total of 33 races (20 Xfinity Series races and 13 Truck Series races). NASCAR has been absent from Iowa since 2020, with this year providing a welcome return to a track many in the industry have come to love. The D-shaped oval was designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, and its similarity to the .75-mile Richmond (Va.) Raceway is no coincidence. Wallace claimed Richmond as one of his favorite tracks, and when he joined Iowa’s design team in 2003, Wallace used Richmond as his baseline. Iowa features variable banking, with the turns banked between 12-14 degrees, the frontstretch at 10 degrees and the backstretch at 4 degrees. Construction of Iowa began on June 21, 2005 and the facility made its public debut on Sept. 15, 2006 with a Hooters Pro Cup Series race during which driver Woody Howard became the track’s first victor. ARCA Menards Series races followed in 2006 and the IndyCar Series joined Iowa’s lineup in 2007.

● Family owned and operated, Reser’s has been a proud sponsor of good times at racetracks, picnics, and barbecues since 1950 with a family of brands that includes Reser’s American Classics, Main St. Bistro, and more. Reser’s operates 14 facilities in the U.S., Mexico and Canada and actively supports the communities it serves. Visit to learn more.

● 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 champion Kurt Busch for 25th on the all-time Cup Series win list.

● Ahead at this Stage: Truex has accumulated 63 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 second stage win of the season at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway in April, leading the field across the line at the end of Stage 1.

Martin Truex Jr., Driver of the No. 19 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry XSE

You’ve never raced at Iowa before, but what have your impressions been of seeing the Xfinity and other series race there over the years?

“I always thought it was kind of a big Richmond with the curved front straightaway and the progressive banking. It’s gotten to be pretty wide over the years. I know they did some repaving, which will be interesting to figure that out. That’s always a unique challenge. The place has put on some great racing over the years and I think we are all looking forward to going there, and hopefully we have a good shot to run well there this weekend with our Reser’s Fine Foods Camry.”

What are you most looking forward to with the Cup Series debuting at Iowa Speedway this weekend?

“I tend to like tracks that are similar to Iowa, medium-sized tracks that are pretty fast and hopefully a few grooves we can run in and move around and make passes. Richmond, Loudon, Phoenix, those kind of tracks I really enjoy and I think Iowa is kind of in that ballpark, and our cars have been really fast at those types of tracks this year, as well. We are going there looking to win the inaugural event. Anytime you go somewhere new, you always want to be the guy who wins that first one, it’s always extra special if you can do that. I’m excited to get there and see what we can do with our Reser’s Fine Foods Camry.”

With this being the first time the Cup cars have been there, what do you expect as far as fan excitement this weekend?

“I’m sure the fans are going to be excited. I know it’s been a long time coming for all the fans in Iowa. They’ve been talking about a Cup race going there for a long time now. It’s finally here and we are coming this weekend and I know the fans are going to pack the place all weekend and have a good time, and hopefully we’ll put on a great race for them.”

How has the level of parity changed in the Cup Series?

“I think it has changed a lot since I’ve been here. I think the last few years with the NextGen car have seen the biggest change, I would say. It has constantly evolved since I’ve come into the sport as far as trying to tighten things up, but the NextGen car just has taken it to a new level. You are talking about everybody having the same parts and pieces – that’s never been a part of this sport. That’s definitely been the game-changer.”