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Questions Answered After Martin Truex Jr. Pulled A Monster Out of His Hat at Dover

NASCAR Cup Series

Who … should you be talking about after the race?

Martin Truex Jr. was finally able to score his first NASCAR Cup Series win in 54 starts and almost two seasons, notching the 32nd victory of his career and his fourth at the Dover Motor Speedway.

Oddly, three of those four Dover wins have now come on a Monday following a rain postponement. But it wasn’t easy for Truex. A late race caution as a result of Joey Logano spinning set up an extra pit stop as most cars had over 60 laps on their tires at that point.

Crew chief James Small made the call to only give the leader two tires, a call that allowed Truex to beat Ryan Blaney off of pit road.

With seven laps to go on the restart, Truex spent a couple of laps racing side by side with Blaney before clearing him to claim sole ownership of the lead.

Truex then built up enough of a gap to where Ross Chastain and his four fresh tires just didn’t have enough time to chase the 2017 Cup champion down after driving up into second.

And don’t forget William Byron, who had a very strong race, leading 193 of 400 laps, winning stage one and finishing runner up in stage two.

But the No. 24 Chevrolet struggled at the start of the final stage, losing the lead for the final time on lap 285 and struggling to almost half a lap down by the time of green flag pit stops in the final stage.

Byron was able to recover in the second half of the long run and then benefitted from a great late restart to finish fourth on the day.

What… is the big question leaving this race in the rearview?

Honestly, was this the last win of Truex’s career? This was his first points-paying win in almost two years, and he definitely seemed to be flirting with retirement last year before signing back on for 2023.

It’s a very curious resume for any driver. Truex won one race in his first seven full-time seasons at the Cup level. Then, after winning two more in the three seasons after that, he exploded and won 23 and a championship in just four years’ time.

Now, in what’s probably the end stages of his career, these wins seem to be coming much more infrequently again.

If there was any historical comparison, it might be Dale Jarrett. When Jarrett won at Talladega Superspeedway in 2005, it seemed like the end of an era to go along with the retirement of ironically the guest booth analyst for today’s race, Rusty Wallace, that…

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