Martin Truex Jr. Wins Monday’s Gander RV 400 At Dover International Speedwayby Camille Jones May 6, 2019 0 comments
DOVER, Del. – Martin Truex Jr. won the rain-postponed Gander RV 400 by a lead of more than nine seconds at Dover International Speedway on Monday afternoon.
This was Truex’s second win of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, and his third victory at Dover International Speedway. The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. SiriusXM Toyota led 132 laps throughout the afternoon.
“It feels incredible,” said Truex. “So thankful for this team. What a race car we had today. This SiriusXM Camry was just incredible. Thank you to everyone back at the shop at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), Bass Pro, Auto Owners, everybody who supports us and makes this happen. We have one hell of a team and we came here with a new setup this time. We had an older setup that won in 2016 and had been good but not good enough. Hats off to Cole (Pearn, crew chief), James (Small, engineer) and everyone with TRD (Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A.) back in California, Costa Mesa for awesome engines and horsepower. Thanks to all these fans that have come out today on Monday.”
In recent weeks, the Truex and the No. 19 team has hit their stride, winning two of the last three races. The team has accumulated four top-five and seven top-10 finishes in the 11 races so far this season.
“I think just putting all the details together,” Truex said. “We’ve had speed all year. Finished second at Atlanta. Felt like we had the best car. Had some issues on pit road. Phoenix we ran second again. Seems like we were having little hiccups here and there. Now we’re starting to not only make our cars a little bit faster, show up better on Fridays, we’re a step ahead on the weekend. The pit crew is really doing a great job. That’s been the difference. We had a lot of trouble in the pits earlier in the year, didn’t get to show our speed. The guys are coming together, gelling, doing a fine job. We were able to take advantage of fast race cars today.”
Alex Bowman claimed his second straight second-place finish in the Gander RV 400 on Monday. His two second-place finishes back-to-back mark his only two top-10 finishes so far in 2019.
“Talladega is a speedway and it’s a lot of luck involved,” Bowman said. “But to come here to, in my opinion the hardest race track we go do, and run like that from the back of all things, was pretty special. I’m just proud of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports for all the improvement we’ve made over the last year or so and we’re going to keep it going.”
Kyle Larson, who flipped down the backstretch at Talladega, rebounded for third-place finish at Dover. In addition, this was Larson’s eighth top-10 finish in 10 starts at the Monster Mile.
“Oh, yeah, we ran inside the top-5 all race long,” Larson said. “We fought tight early-on, with our Credit One Bank Chevy, but we freed it up and got it to where I felt like I was pretty good. And in the last run there, after cycling through green-flag stops, I was really loose and got stuck in traffic and then was just looser in the dirty air. So, I had to just make sure I hit the bottom lap after lap to hold (Kevin) Harvick off. So, it was good to finally have a clean race.”
Kevin Harvick and pole-sitter, Chase Elliott, rounded out the top-five. Erik Jones, Joey Logano, William Byron, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch completed the top-10.
Joey Logano won Stage 1, while Truex won Stage 2 in the race.
Over the course of the 400-lap race, there were six cautions for a total of 31 laps.
After 11 races so far this season, Kyle Busch leads the standings by five points over Joey Logano.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 11 for the Digital Ally 400. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 7:30 p.m. ET.