Saturday June 3rd, 2023 4:19AM

Ryan Truex dominates Dover for first Xfinity Series win

By Holly Cain-NASCAR Wire Service
  Contact Editor

Ryan Truex turned in a career day on Saturday, as he led a dominating 124 of the 200 laps in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Dover Motor Speedway.

The 31-year-old swept both stage wins and ultimately took the checkered flag 4.8-seconds ahead of the field to claim his first career series victory.

It was such a big day for the Mayetta, New Jersey native, who has raced in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series – primarily part-time – for nine seasons and is scheduled to only make a handful of starts in 2023. Yet he parlayed this part-time opportunity driving the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota into a hugely sentimental victory at a special place – one that Truex has always claimed as his “home track.’’

Just before driving into Dover’s victory lane, he stopped and was greeted by his older brother, NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex, Jr., who similarly earned his first victory in that series at Dover back in 2007.

“I’m just so thankful, all these fans, my team, they really stuck behind me,” said a smiling and emotional Truex, who becomes the 13th different NASCAR Xfinity Series driver to claim his first win at Dover.

“Most people didn’t believe in me, and I still did – my girlfriend, my family, my parents, my brother did. I’m just so thankful to be here.

“I felt like with 20 to go, I was just waiting for something to happen, just praying, please God keep everything straight and let’s get to the end of this. What a car, what an amazing Toyota Supra. I’m speechless.

“I thought I’d be more emotional right now, but when I crossed the flag I couldn’t even talk on the radio and I’m not an emotional guy. This is for everyone that doubted me.”

Defending race winner Josh Berry finished second to Truex, securing an impressive record at Dover as well. He’s finished either first or second in all three of his series starts at the Monster Mile.

“We made some good adjustments in the second half of the race, the pit crew executed well the last couple stops and had a good green flag cycle and got up to second but the 19 (Truex) was just too far out and it seemed like he was the best car all day,” Berry said, adding, “It’s a fun day, I love this race track. Hate we didn’t get the win, but it was a great rebound and great day for us.”

Justin Allgaier was third followed by Winston, Georgia’s Austin Hill, John Hunter Nemechek, and Sammy Smith. The third place showing for Hill, who led 18 laps, keeps the 2023 three-race winner atop the championship standings by four-points over Nemechek.

Cole Custer finished sixth – good enough to earn the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash incentive award for the second straight week in the final installment of the bonus for 2023. He also got the big money from series sponsor Xfinity at Talladega Superspeedway last week.

Atlanta, Georgia’s Brandon Jones and Sam Mayer were eighth and ninth with 2021 series champion Daniel Hemric rounding out the top 10 on Saturday.

Sheldon Creed, whose 41 laps out front were second only to Truex, finished 11th, an impressive outcome considering he spun and brought out a caution flag earlier in the race.

The afternoon, however, belonged to Truex, who made his Xfinity Series debut as an 18-year-old driving for Michael Waltrip in 2010, and has since made 73 assorted starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as well.

And now he is a bona fide winner in one of NASCAR’s headline series.

“I belong here, and I just proved that,” said Truex, whose 124 laps out front Saturday were more than his previous career total (67) in 88 starts.

“I’ve known it for a while and people around me have known it for a while. And now everyone in this garage area knows it. My goal is to drive a race car fulltime next year and hopefully we can make it happen.”

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Dover Motor Speedway – Dover, DE
A-GAME 200 – April 29, 2023

1. (12) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 200.
2. (19) Josh Berry, Chevrolet, 200.
3. (18) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 200.
4. (6) Austin Hill, Chevrolet, 200.
5. (22) John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, 200.
6. (28) Sammy Smith #, Toyota, 200.
7. (2) Cole Custer, Ford, 200.
8. (8) Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, 200.
9. (24) Sam Mayer, Chevrolet, 200.
10. (16) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 200.
11. (3) Sheldon Creed, Chevrolet, 199.
12. (26) Kaz Grala, Toyota, 199.
13. (10) Chandler Smith #, Chevrolet, 199.
14. (35) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 199.
15. (14) Brett Moffitt, Ford, 199.
16. (20) Ryan Sieg, Ford, 199.
17. (5) Parker Retzlaff #, Chevrolet, 199.
18. (4) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 198.
19. (15) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 198.
20. (13) Derek Kraus, Chevrolet, 198.
21. (11) Riley Herbst, Ford, 198.
22. (21) Joe Graf, Jr., Ford, 198.
23. (7) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 198.
24. (9) Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, 197.
25. (29) Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, 197.
26. (30) Rajah Caruth(i), Chevrolet, 196.
27. (17) Gray Gaulding, Ford, 196.
28. (38) Stefan Parsons, Chevrolet, 196.
29. (25) Kyle Sieg, Ford, 195.
30. (37) Timmy Hill(i), Ford, 195.
31. (27) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 195.
32. (34) Chad Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 193.
33. (32) Patrick Emerling, Chevrolet, 192.
34. (23) C.J. McLaughlin, Ford, 192.
35. (36) Corey Heim(i), Toyota, Engine, 170.
36. (31) Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, Brakes, 123.
37. (33) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, Engine, 119.
38. (1) Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, Accident, 62.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 107.191 mph.

Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 51 Mins, 57 Secs. Margin of Victory: 4.820 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 6 for 33 laps.

Lead Changes: 11 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders: P. Kligerman 0;C. Custer 1-9;S. Creed 10-33;R. Truex 34-49;K. Weatherman 50-53;R. Truex 54-94;A. Hill 95-111;R. Truex 112-167;A. Hill 168;C. Custer 169-172;S. Creed 173-189;R. Truex 190-200.

Leaders Summary: (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led) Ryan Truex 4 times for 124 laps; Sheldon Creed 2 times for 41 laps; Austin Hill 2 times for 18 laps; Cole Custer 2 times for 13 laps; Kyle Weatherman 1 time for 4 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 19,20,2,21,8,9,18,00,11,16

Stage #2 Top Ten: 19,21,20,7,00,16,2,18,1,8

Playoff Standings: 1. Austin Hill – 377 (3 Wins); 2. John Hunter Nemechek – 373 (2 Wins); 3. Chandler Smith – 339 (1 Win); 4. Sammy Smith – 296 (1 Win); 5. Jeb Burton – 248 (1 Win); 6. Josh Berry – 334; 7. Justin Allgaier – 328; 8. Cole Custer – 318; 9. Sheldon Creed – 314; 10. Riley Herbst – 312; 11. Daniel Hemric – 284; 12. Sam Mayer – 267.

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

  • Associated Categories: Sports, NASCAR News, Xfinity Series
  • Associated Tags: nascar, motorsports, xfinity series, Auto Racing, Stock Car, Asphalt, Motorsports Live On WDUN
© Copyright 2023
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.