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Ryan Truex Comes Alive Late to Repeat at Dover

Ryan Truex

Ryan Truex celebrating in Victory Lane after winning at Dover. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

DOVER, Del. — Ryan Truex only gets to run a select number of races with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series but last year made it count, winning his first career race at Dover Motor Speedway.

Dover was also on Truex’s schedule for 2024 and all he did was back it up and repeat as winner.

“I can’t believe it,” Truex said during his post-race interview. “Our car was just good at the end when it mattered.”

Throughout the race, the expectation was the drivers were racing until it rained, and the rain did come, but not enough to end the race. On Lap 159 a caution came out for rain, which would trigger one of the craziest endings to a race this season.

Once the yellow came out, NASCAR kept the cars on the track, deemed the conditions good enough to restart, and opened up pit road. Thinking the rain would continue, six cars stayed out, which included three of the top four while everyone else came down pit road.

Under caution, Sammy Smith, who was running in third ran out of fuel and eventually stalled on pit road, extended the caution. During the extra caution lap, the rain picked up and NASCAR red-flagged the race and brought the cars down pit road.

Cole Custer, who was leading at the time looked to have claimed the victory. The only problem for Custer was that the red flag was lifted and the race would be resumed.

Ryan Truex

Ryan Truex doing a burnout after winning the BetRivers 200. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

This forced Custer to pit from the lead under caution along with Chandler Smith and Kyle Sieg, two of the other drivers who stayed out hoping the rain would end the race. The remaining two drivers who stayed out were Justin Allgaier and Parker Kligerman, who stayed out again hoping the race would reappear.

On Lap 173, the race restarted and Austin Hill, who pitted when the rain caution came out, took the lead away from Allgaier. Another caution came out quickly though because Brandon Jones spun on the back straightaway of that same lap.

Allgaier and Kligerman were then forced to pit for fuel.

This moved the rookie, Carson Kvapil, making just his second career, to the front row to restart inside of Hill. Kvapil spun the tires on the restart as Hill and Sheldon Creed got by going into Turn 1.

Just a few laps later, Taylor Gray hit the outside wall and brought out another caution. The following restart would be Hill vs Creed on the front row, who have a lot of history with one another.

On the restart, Creed cleared Hill cleanly for the lead, and on the very next lap going into Turns 1 and 2, Hill got in the back of Creed and moved the No. 18 car up the track.

Carson Kvapil getting embraced by teammate Sam Mayer after finishing second at Dover. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

This led to a side-by-side battle between Hill and Creed for multiple laps. The battle opened the door for Kvapil, who made a late surge and made a daring three-wide pass for the lead in the bottom lane with just eight laps to go.

After Kvapil took the lead, another caution came out, allowing Hill another chance to take the lead back. On the restart, Kvapil and Hill were side-by-side until Hill spun himself out in Turn 1 on the inside of Kvapil, ending his chances of winning.

Since Kvapil didn’t take the white flag, it meant the second overtime attempt was coming up. Kvapil chose the outside lane once again for the restart and in the inside lane, it was guess who — Truex, and he came out of nowhere.

The two drivers got equally good restarts and were even with one another going into Turn 3. Truex drove it in deep into Turn 3, running Kvapil up the track slightly and was able to take the lead and take the white flag.

“Just got a little too tight running the top and he got around us going into three and had position to move us up the hill,” said Kvapil.

After taking the white flag Allgaier got into the wall, bringing out a caution and ending the race with Truex earning the victory at Dover once again.

“I felt a little bad running him [Kvapil] up the hill, but you got to take these things when you can,” Truex said. “I’m out of breath from that. I think I held my breath for those last two laps.”

Ryan Truex

Ryan Truex (20) battling Carson Kvapil (88) on a restart. (Photo: Josh Jones | The Podium Finish)

The driver coming in second, as a result, was Kvapil, who shined in just his second career start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

“Going in, if I was told I was going to finish second, I’d be pretty pumped, but when you’re right there going for the win and you have the lead, it’s pretty tough,” Kvapil said.

Creed also held on to finish in fourth place after leading late, which is the fourth top five of the young season for the No. 18 team. Even with the aggressive racing between himself and Hill for the lead, Creed believes it was fair.

“We got to restart with 10 to go and got the lead and the 21 (Hill) and I were racing really hard there, and just couldn’t get rid of him,” Creed said. “Every time I would get clear, he (Hill) would just pack air and get me loose. Just good racing for the lead honestly.”

Lost in the mayhem of the finish was that the BetRivers 200 marked the final Dash 4 Cash event of the season, with Anthony Alfredo winning the $100,000 bonus with a ninth-place finish.

“This is huge,” Alfredo said in the media center. “You don’t understand how small our budget is compared to these bigger teams.”

The result continues Alfredo’s quietly very strong start to the season and now has five top-10 finishes, moving up to 10th in the point standings.

Stage 1 Top 10 Results

  1. Justin Allgaier
  2. Brandon Jones
  3. Cole Custer
  4. Sheldon Creed
  5. Riley Herbst
  6. Austin Hill
  7. Chandler Smith
  8. AJ Allmendinger
  9. Ryan Truex
  10. Sam Mayer

Stage 2 Top 10 Results

  1. Cole Custer
  2. Austin Hill
  3. Jesse Love
  4. Parker Retzlaff
  5. Sheldon Creed
  6. Justin Allgaier
  7. Riley Herbst
  8. Chandler Smith
  9. Sammy Smith
  10. Ryan Truex

BetRivers 200 at Dover Motor Speedway Results

Finish Start Car No. Driver Sponsor/Make Status
1 12 20 Ryan Truex The Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota Running
2 26 88 Carson Kvapil Chevy Truck Season Chevrolet Running
3 20 1 Sam Mayer NASCAR Refuel Chevrolet Running
4 5 18 Sheldon Creed Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota Running
5 11 00 Cole Custer Haas Automation Ford Running
6 10 16 AJ Allmendinger LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Running
7 7 18 Chandler Smith Smith General Contracting Toyota Running
8 6 91 Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet Running
9 21 5 Anthony Alfredo Dude Wipes Chevrolet Running
10 17 31 Parker Retzlaff FUNKAWAY Chevrolet Running
11 19 27 Jeb Burton Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet Running
12 15 48 Parker Kligerman Motley Crue Dogs of War Chevrolet Running
13 25 43 Ryan Ellis Costa Oil Chevrolet Running
14 23 51 Jeremy Clements Nordic Logistics Chevrolet Running
15 4 21 Austin Hill Nuthin Fancy Collection Chevrolet Running
16 2 98 Riley Herbst Monster Energy Ford Running
17 3 7 Justin Allgaier Jarret Logistics Chevrolet Running
18 31 97 Shane van Gisbergen (R) WeatherTech Chevrolet Running
19 1 9 Brandon Jones Menards/Barracuda Chevrolet Running
20 36 10 Daniel Dye (i) Race to Stop Suicide Chevrolet Running
21 28 42 Leland Honeyman (R) Randco Industries Chevrolet Running
22 27 44 Brennan Poole Prime Bites Brownie Chevrolet Running
23 18 92 Kaden Honeycutt (i) Stay Sober Arrive Alive DE Chevrolet Running
24 8 2 Jesse Love (R) Whelen Chevrolet Running
25 38 11 Josh Williams Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet Running
26 37 14 David Staar Alarm Tech Chevrolet Running
27 24 28 Kyle Sieg Independent Metal Strap Ford Running
28 30 07 Patrick Emerling Goon Tape Chevrolet Running
29 32 4 Dawson Cram (R) NJSP Troopers United Foundation Chevrolet Running
30 35 6 Garrett Smithley Heroes Haven Chevrolet Running
31 29 15 Hailie Deegan (R) AirBox Ford Running
32 16 38 Matt DiBenedetto Viking Motorsports Ford Running
33 13 8 Sammy Smith Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Accident
34 9 19 Taylor Gray (i) Operation 300 Toyota Accident
35 22 26 Corey Heim (i) Synergy Modular Toyota Engine
36 34 29 Blaine Perkins Ollie’s Ford Electrical
37 14 39 Ryan Sieg Sci Apps Ford Engine
38 33 35 JJ Yeley Joey Gase Motorsports Ford Accident

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