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Martin Truex Jr. ‘Let One Get Away’ at Dover

Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover Motor Speedway. (Photo: Jennie Mae Lingle | The Podium Finish)

DOVER, Del. — Martin Truex Jr. left Dover Motor Speedway on Sunday feeling like his Joe Gibbs Racing team could’ve been in victory lane with Miles the Monster for the second straight season. Instead, he finished third after leading 69 laps, coming close to breaking through for his first win of the 2024 campaign.

“Feel like we let one get away today,” Truex said after the Würth 400. “Had a really strong Bass Pro Camry. You can’t lose control of these races mid-stage like that. The track changes, you get behind.

“Man, just stinks. Overall a good day. Just keep working on it.”

The native of nearby Mayetta, New Jersey, started a bit buried in the field, qualifying 15th on Saturday. But Truex drove to the front and passed William Byron for the lead with six laps to go in Stage 1, ultimately winning the opening segment and bagging 10 bonus points and a playoff point.

Truex led in Stage 2 up until green flag pit stops. He darted toward pit road on Lap 183, the same lap as Kyle Larson. But when the pit cycle was complete, Larson held the advantage out front. Truex ended up finishing fourth in Stage 2.

“In the middle of the race losing the lead was the difference maker,” Truex explained. “Just lost the lead to the 5 there. Once I got close to him, tried to start moving around, I got a little too tight. He was backing up. It just didn’t quite have what I needed to get by him. They all pounced on us and we lost control of the race.”

Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. goes through driver introductions before Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover Motor Speedway. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

However, the fate of Truex’s afternoon may have come down to front-end damage. His nose got blemished early in Stage 3 and he admitted that it ultimately ended his hopes of winning the race.

Still, Sunday’s Würth 400 was productive for the No. 19 team and company. Truex finished in the top five for the third time this season and the 10th time in his career at Dover. He earned 51 points and maintained second place in the NASCAR Cup Series driver’s points. Truex also broke a stretch of three finishes outside the top 10, dating back to Martinsville Speedway.

Back at Richmond Raceway on Easter Sunday, Truex nearly knocked out his first win of the season. He dominated for 228 laps and started sailing toward victory lane before a caution with two laps to go. Instead of a victory, he finished fourth.

No late caution at Richmond? No damage at Dover?

Those two instances easily could’ve changed the course of the 43-year-old’s season.

Instead, he’ll try again next weekend at Kansas Speedway. The AdventHealth 400 is set for Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


Nathan Solomon serves as the managing editor of The Podium Finish. He has been part of the team since 2021 and is accredited by the National Motorsports Press Association. Solomon is a senior in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. Contact him at

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