It had been a while, 54 races to be exact, since Martin Truex Jr. last tasted the spoils of victory lane. But the 42-year-old racer certainly didn't forget how to do a celebratory burnout.
On Monday, at Dover Motor Speedway Truex defeated Ryan Blaney in a battle on a late-race restart and was able to hold off Ross Chastain in the closing laps to secure the race win in the Wurth 400.
RELATED: NASCAR Cup Series Wurth 400 at Dover Race Results
After he crossed the finish line, Truex put on one hell of a show for the fans that stuck it out through the weekend of soggy weather, as he scorched the concrete at Dover with the rubber from his Goodyear Eagles.
Here is a video of the impressive burnout by Truex:
Monday's victory marks the 32nd win of Truex's career, and the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion has now won a race in seven of the last eight seasons.
While snagging his first win in about a year and a half was special, it was a big week overall for the Truex family as Martin's younger brother Ryan was able to score the NASCAR Xfinity Series win Saturday at Dover in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing entry.
The younger Truex had persistently attempted to score a NASCAR National Series for 13 years before finally breaking through on Saturday.
"It's just special, you know this is a special place. And such a big day for our family to see Ryan do that on Saturday. He's worked so hard for so long to get good opportunities. It's awesome to see him take advantage of that," Truex said.
The elder Truex brother has had plenty of opportunities to win since his last NASCAR Cup Series triumph, but circumstances just kept denying him time after time. On Monday, the planets finally aligned for Truex and he parked his No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry in victory lane.
"For us, we've given away a few here over the years. It feels nice to get one to come around our way for once," an emotional Truex stated. "Just excited. This thing was a hot rod, just had to get it up front."
Truex was locked in a fierce late-race battle with Ross Chastain for the victory, but when Joey Logano crashed with 13 laps remaining in the race, Truex was upset on his team radio.
With good reason, he figured this would be the latest reason he failed to close out a race.
Here is a video of the incident that led to the late-race restart:
However, on the final restart of the day, Truex held off an extremely motivated Ryan Blaney to maintain the race lead, and then when Ross Chastain got around Blaney for the second position, Truex was able to hit his marks down the stretch to score the win.
On a pit sequence following the Logano crash, Truex, Blaney, and Christopher Bell took two tires to restart out front, while Chastain and his No. 1 Trackhouse Racing team opted to take four fresh tires. This meant that Chastain would have to restart fourth.
The track position was simply too much for Chastain to overcome as he finished second.
"I think whoever got in the lead was going to have a shot at it," Chastain explained.
Chastain then joked that perhaps he slipped up and told Truex his secret to success at Dover in a fishing trip last year.
"Gosh, so close, again, for our Jockey Chevy, everybody at Trackhouse, Advent Health, Moose Fraternity, Worldwide Express. It's surreal to continue to do that and race against my heroes. I guess I told them a few too many of my secrets last year after we went fishing," Chastain quipped.
While it was another solid day for Chastain, who won Stage 2 and led 98 laps in the race, the driver again made no friends on the track.
On lap 81, Chastain drew the ire of Kyle Larson and Brennan Poole when Chastain made contact with the rear of Poole, who was a lap down at the time. The contact sent Poole crashing into Larson, ending Poole's day and severely hampering Larson's.
"That was the middle of the first Stage," Larson said of the crash that was sparked by Chastain. "To make an error like that -- and his errors never affect him, negatively. Not saying anything about that, I just find it funny that he always comes out on the good end. It is what it is."
As Chastain was locked into the late-race battle with Truex, before the Logano crash re-racked the field, Larson exacted some revenge by holding up Chastain, which allowed Truex to gain some breathing room for a few laps.
When asked about the move to slow Chastain, Larson stopped short of admitting it was payback.
"I don't know, I mean you can take it for whatever you think it might be. Just a long frustrating day for me and another day where I got caught up in something that's not my fault," Larson, who finished 32nd, said.
Blaney was able to hold on to finish third behind Truex and Chastain, while William Byron came home in fourth.
Byron won Stage 1 in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and he led a race-high 193 laps. In the end, Byron didn't score his third win of the season, but the young racer recorded another solid finish.
Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin ended the day solidly in fifth.
Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher, and Josh Berry, who was substituting for the injured Alex Bowman, rounded out the top 10 finishers on the day.
For Keselowski, it was an incredible rally. The RFK Racing driver finished fourth in Stage 1, and it appeared he would be in contention for the win all race long. But then, an uncontrolled tire penalty, when he ran into his own tire on pit road between Stages 1 and 2, led to him being sent to the rear of the field.
However, Keselowski and the No. 6 team stuck with it all day long and finished a respectable eighth.
The next stop for the NASCAR Cup Series is the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, May 7th.
Photo Credit: Ben Earp, LAT Images, Courtesy of Toyota Racing
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