Event: NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Autism Speaks 400 (Race No. 13 of 36) Weather: Mostly sunny and warm Winner: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the ...
Event: NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Autism Speaks 400 (Race No. 13 of 36)
Weather: Mostly sunny and warm
Winner: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #1 Chevrolet from Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Top-five finishers: Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth
Race recap: After a one-day rain delay, Martin Truex Jr. won his first career Nextel Cup race at Dover International Speedway on Monday afternoon. Truex was the race's dominant driver, leading 216 out of 400 laps around the mile long, high-banked concrete speedway.
Ryan Newman won the pole for the event and appeared to be the only driver to provide a major threat to Truex, who started the race in the 26th spot. After leading more than 100 laps of his own, Newman trailed Truex by 7.355 seconds at the checkered flag. There were seven caution flags
for 28 laps and 18 lead changes among six drivers.
Truex's victory was his first in 58 career series starts and comes one week after Casey Mears won his first career race at Lowe's Motor Speedway last week. It also broke a string of five consecutive Nextel Cup victories by Hendrick Motorsports drivers. However, Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson still maintain control of the championship standings, where Gordon leads Johnson by 152 points after 13 of 36 races.
Goodyear quote -- Rick Heinrich, product manager: "This Nextel Cup event was the first day we used this combination of tires with NASCAR's 'Car of Tomorrow,' although it was used on the more traditional Nextel Cup cars at Fontana, Calif., earlier this season.
After a total rainout on Sunday, the race started on Monday on a 'green' race track washed free of rubber buildup, which is very hard on the tires at Dover. In spite of that, our Eagles did a fantastic job all day, and nearly every team had great tire wear. We saw a good race with plenty of side-by-side running."
In Victory Lane, the flag was flying at half staff to honor former NASCAR Chairman Bill France Jr., who died on Monday. He led the successful ascent of NASCAR for 32 years before passing the role over to his son, Brian France, in 2003.
Goodyear statement by Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires: "Bill France Jr. was a visionary and a tireless promoter of the NASCAR racing world. His sheer force of will and strength of character has brought NASCAR to the top of American sports culture. NASCAR participants and fans are a family, and we all feel a great sense of loss today. But while we mourn the man, we rejoice in the spectacle that he created with his passion. We send our deepest condolences to Betty Jane, Brian, Lesa, and the entire France family on their loss."
The Nextel Cup Series will visit Pocono Raceway next Sunday.
Companion events: Carl Edwards led 122 of 200 laps to win the NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday. Edwards edged fellow Nextel Cup regular Denny Hamlin at the finish, with the race ending under a caution flag.
Ron Hornaday Jr. led 91 of the final 94 laps to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday, after Kyle Busch controlled most of the early stages of the race, leading 78 laps overall.
-credit: goodyear racing