Truex hopes homecoming at Dover brings a change of luck

Martin Truex Jr in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA 400 Drive For Autism at Dover International Speedway on May 14, 2016 in Dover, Delaware.
Martin Truex Jr in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA 400 Drive For Autism at Dover International Speedway on May 14, 2016 in Dover, Delaware.
Martin Truex Jr in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA 400 Drive For Autism at Dover International Speedway on May 14, 2016 in Dover, Delaware.

DOVER, Del. – After last Saturday night in Kansas, Martin Truex Jr. needed a home game, and Dover International Speedway – the site of Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism (1 p.m. ET on FS1) – is the closest NASCAR track to his native New Jersey.

“It’s always good to come here,” Truex said. “It’s my home track. I love coming up to this race track for a lot of reasons. Of course, being close to home is always neat, but a lot of friends and family come to this race, so it’s always neat to see them.

“Most importantly, I love the race track. Our cars have been fast this year, and I’m looking forward to hopefully going back to Victory Lane, that’s what it’s all about, that’s what we’re here for. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

Dover has a special place in the fabric of Truex’s career. In 2007, the driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota collected the first of his three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, leading 216 of the 400 laps and winning by 7.355 seconds.

Since then, however, Truex has led more than 100 laps in a race on seven different occasions – and is 0-for-7 in coverting those races into wins. The latest example came last Saturday at Kansas Speedway, where Truex led 172 laps in a dominant car but lost the race when a broken bolt prevented a tire from mounting properly and cost him an extra pit stop.

The saving grace is that, this year, the Furniture Row car has been consistently fast, and Truex has rebounded from the disappointment.

“It’s a lot easier than if you weren’t fast and let one slip away and felt like your chances or the opportunity would be hard to get again or it was going to take a while to get that opportunity again,” said Truex, who was seventh on the speed chart in Saturday’s final Sprint Cup practice.

“It’s definitely easier when you’re running good, and you feel like every time you show up at the race track there’s an opportunity, (and) you can get up there and lead some laps and have a shot at winning. It definitely helps.”

But there’s no medicine like winning, and for Truex, no better place to do it than at Dover.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.