• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Martin Truex Jr. Dover win Würth the wait

ByEvan McNelia

May 1, 2023
Martin Truex Jr. poses in Victory Lane

Photo courtesy of James Gilbert | Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr. won the 2023 Würth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway securing a weekend sweep for the Truex family as his younger brother Ryan won the Xfinity Series race on Saturday. It’s the second win of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing as Christopher Bell won the Bristol Dirt Race.

It’s the first win for Truex since the Fall of 2021 at Richmond Raceway, breaking a 54-race winless streak. He started the race in 17th after the lineup was set via the metric due to qualifying being rained out. He made his way up in the pack securing points in both stages. He placed ninth in Stage 1 and fourth in Stage 2 but struggled to make his way up to the front of the pack until the final stage. 

Stage 2 winner Ross Chastain held an advantage over Truex for the first half of the final stage but a mistake during the green flag pit window cost him the lead and possibly the race. He missed his intended pit stop by a lap and pitted two laps later than Truex and was passed for first as exited pit road.

Chastain had one more opportunity to restart near Truex after Logano spun out bringing out a caution with 13 laps to go. Logano had been struggling most of the day and was running more than 10 laps down at the time of the incident.

Chastain opted to restart behind Truex Jr. giving the inside to Ryan Blaney who was running third. Blaney was just as hungry as Truex for the win having last won at Daytona two races before Truex had his previous win. Blaney tried moving Truex up the track early in the restart but Truex was able to clear him with Chastain. Chastain was not able to catch Truex Jr. in the final run coming in second.

William Byron won Stage 1 and lead nearly half the race leading a race-high 193 laps. However, he lost speed in the final stage as his seemingly unstoppable car lost pace to the podium finishers. After placing 2nd in Stage 2 he placed 4th to end the race. Byron has led 579 laps this season, no driver has led more in 2023. The next closest driver is fellow Hendrick racer Kyle Larson who has led 468, more than 100 less than Byron.

Larson was running in the top five during Stage 1 when he ended up collected in an incident between Chastain and Brennan Poole who was driving the No. 15 for Rick Ware Racing. Chastain got into the back of Poole while lapping him and spun Poole out up the track and in front of Larson who drilled the No. 15.

Larson’s car had to be taken to the garage but returned to the race track down more than 30 laps with some damage. Larson finished in 32nd but made sure to slow Chastain as he was being lapped prior to the Logano caution late in the race.

Hendrick announced earlier in the week that the driver of the No. 48 Alex Bowman would be missing three to four races after suffering an injury in a sprint car race at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa.

Stepping back up for the team is JR Motorsports Xfinity driver Josh Berry who filled in for Chase Elliott while he recovered from a snowboarding accident earlier this season. Berry placed 10th at Dover for his third top-10 finish in the Cup Series this season. Berry is currently 4th in the Xfinity Series point standings and has five top 5 finishes across 10 races this season.

Along with the win, JGR had a solid overall day as Denny Hamlin finished 5th and Christopher Bell finished 6th. Rookie driver Ty Gibbs ran top 10 most of the day as well but was short on fuel after the final pit window and dropped back a lap in his conservation effort. He was able to pit during the late caution but finished one lap down in 13th. Only 12 of 36 cars finished the race on the lead lap.

Outside of Stage 1, the race stayed mostly green. Stage 2 was clean all the way through and Stage 3 was only marred by the Logano incident. Stage 1 had a competition caution at Lap 22 and three incidental cautions including the Chastain, Poole, Larson incident.

Legacy Motor Club driver Noah Gragson hit the outside wall coming off of Turn 2 on the back straightaway on Lap 29 bringing out the second yellow flag of the race. He remained in the race but was ordered off on Lap 33 after not being able to make pace.

Three laps after the restart, Trackhouse Racing No. 99 driver Daniel Suarez slammed into the wall on the front stretch in a similar fashion coming off of Turn 4. Spire Motorsports No. 77 driver Ty Dillon was spun out by Kyle Busch while checking up for the incident and reared into the inside wall decently hard and both Suárez and Dillon were done for the race finishing in the last two positions. BJ McLeod also spun out in the incident but did not take as serious of damage. Busch had received a speeding penalty during the competition caution putting him near the back of the pack to be caught up in the incident.

Dillon’s Spire teammate Corey LaJoie had a bit of a bounce-back race coming off a four-race stretch in which he hadn’t recorded a top 20 after opening the season with five in six races. He was consistently in the top 15 throughout the race and finished 14th to get that sixth top-20 finish. 11 races into the season he is matching his pace from last year in which he recorded a career-best 15 top-20 finishes. 

Next week the NASCAR Cup Series travels to Kansas Speedway for the AdventHealth 400. Last year the No. 45 23XI car swept the two Kansas races, the first won by Kurt Busch, the second by Bubba Wallace as he filled in during Kurt’s concussion-related absence. This season Tyler Reddick pilots the No. 45 and Wallace is back in his No. 23 as the team looks to make it three straight at the track. 

Cup Series practice and qualifying start Saturday, May 6 at 5:05 p.m. and the race is the following day at 3:00 p.m. both ET. For the full weekend schedule featuring the Craftsman Truck Series and the ARCA Menards Series click here.

NOTE: Post-race inspection is complete in the Cup Series garage. There were no issues, confirming Truex Jr. as the winner.