DOVER, Del. — Ryan Truex waited 13 years to find victory lane in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. That drought finally came to an end on Saturday at Dover Motor Speedway, as the driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra claimed victory in the A-Game 200.
Truex, who’s run a partial schedule with JGR the past two seasons, dominated the event by leading 124 of the 200 laps of the one-mile concrete oval.
“I’m out of breath. Just so thankful. All of these fans, my team, everybody that stuck behind me,” an elated Truex said. “Most people didn’t believe in me and I still did. My family, parents, brother, you know everybody. Just so thankful to be here, this is amazing.
“With one to go, I was just waiting for something to happen, I was just, ‘Please guys keep everything straight, let’s get to the end of this.’ What a car. What an amazing GR Supra. I’m speechless.
“I thought I would be more emotional right now, but when I crossed the flag, I couldn’t even talk on the radio. I’m not an emotional guy, but yeah, this is for everyone that doubted me.”
It’s been a long road for the 31-year-old younger brother of NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr., who hasn’t competed full time in the series since 2018.
What does a win of this magnitude mean for Truex?
“That I belong here, and I just proved that. I’ve known it for a while,” Truex said. “People around me have known it for a while, now everybody in this garage area knows it. My goal is to drive one of these cars full-time next year and hopefully we can make it happen.”
The win was Truex’s first in 89 starts in the Xfinity Series.
With green-flag pit stops late in the race, Sheldon Creed rose to the point after pitting later in the cycle. However, Creed was forced to pit for gas with 11 laps to go, surrendering the lead to Truex the rest of the distance.
Behind Truex, JR Motorsports drivers Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier finished second and third. Berry, who’s subbing for an injured Alex Bowman in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the one-mile concrete oval, felt Truex was in a different zip code.
“I really wasn’t around him too much, but from what I could tell he led the majority of the race,” Berry said. “It definitely seemed like those guys had a good car. But, I’m proud of our effort, we fought well, got home another second-place finish here, we’ll take it.”
Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill brought his No. 21 Chevrolet home in fourth, followed by JGR’s John Hunter Nemechek.
Custer Scores Dash 4 Cash Victory
For the second week in a row, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer earned the Dash 4 Cash bonus, banking $100,000 after finishing seventh.
The other Dash 4 Cash-eligible drivers encountered issues throughout the 200-lap event, including a spin from Creed, who finished 11th, early in Stage Two.
Last week’s winner at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Jeb Burton, finished 18th.
After starting on pole due to a rainout in qualifying Friday, Parker Kligerman’s $100,000 bid went crashing down after getting turned by rookie Corey Heim early in the second stage.
What Else Went Down
Richard Childress Racing’s Sheldon Creed vaulted to the point early until a Jeremy Clements spin brought the caution flag out on lap eight.
Right before the competition caution on lap 20, Anthony Alfredo spun after losing a right-front brake.
Creed maintained the top spot until lap 34, when Truex took over the top spot. Truex won Stage One.
Just after the beginning of Stage Two, Kligerman got spun by Heim, sending Kligerman’s No. 48 Chevrolet into the inside backstretch wall.
Kligerman showed his displeasure with Heim after hopping out of his car, giving Heim the one-finger salute.
Stage Two also belonged to Truex.
After a round of pit stops following the stage caution, Hill swept in to take the lead for the ensuing restart.
Shortly after the beginning of the third and final stage, Hill’s teammate Creed got tapped by Sammy Smith, sending the No. 2 Chevrolet around. No damage was sustained to the RCR machine.
With green flag runs becoming prominent in the latter moments of the race, Truex’s No. 19 began to shine.
Truex snagged the lead back from Hill on lap 112.
After Creed pit with 11 laps to go, it was all Truex to the checkered flag.Follow @DHoffmanMedia22