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Jim Utter

Truex snaps 54-race winless streak with Dover Cup win

After his younger brother, Ryan Truex, earned his first Xfinity Series win Saturday at Dover, Martin was first off pit road during a late-race caution thanks to a two-tire stop.

He quickly cleared Ryan Blaney for the lead on the restart with seven laps to go and edged Ross Chastain – who took four tires on his final stop – by 0.505 seconds at the checkered flag to earn his first win of the 2023 season.

The victory is the 32nd of Truex’s career and snaps a 54-race winless streak in points-paying races that dates back to the 2021 season.

Truex did win the preseason, Busch Clash exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum this year.

The win is the fourth of Truex’s career at Dover, considered he and Ryan’s home track as they hail from nearby Mayetta, N.J.

“It feels incredible,” Truex said. “Really, we’ve been close a bunch of times. When we got the late caution I said, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen here,’ but a great call by James (Small, crew chief) to take two (tires).

“We got a pretty good restart and got by Blaney there. He raced me hard. Just thanks to everybody that has stuck by us.

“We knew we could do this. We led laps, we dominated races, it just would never all come together.”

Blaney finished third, William Byron was fourth and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher and Josh Berry, in his first race substituting for the injured Alex Bowman.

Bowman is out for three to four races after suffering a fracture vertebra in his back in a sprint car wreck last week.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, the lead-lap cars all pit with Byron first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 259, Byron was followed by Chastain, Blaney and Truex.

Chastain went to the outside of Byron in Turn 4 and got around him to retake the lead with 114 laps remaining in the race.

Keselowski was among the first to hit pit road on Lap 326 for a final round of green flag stops to take on new tires and fuel to make it to the finish.

Michael McDowell was penalized for speeding during his stop and had to serve a pass-through penalty.

Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 332, Truex moved into the lead followed by Chastain and Blaney.

With 25 laps to go, Truex was working hard to hold Chastain at bay as Blaney ran third and Hamlin fourth.

Joey Logano – who had been struggling the entire race – wrecked on Lap 387 to bring out the seventh caution of the race.

The lead-lap cars all pit with Truex first off pit road thanks to a two-tire pit stop. Chastain – who came off fourth – was the first driver to take four. The race returned to green with seven laps to go in the race.

Stage 2

Chastain grabbed the lead during a round of green flag pit stops and easily cruised to the Stage 2 win over Byron. Blaney was third, Truex fourth and Hamlin was fifth.

During pit stops on Lap 123, Keselowski was penalized for an uncontrolled tire and had to restart at the rear of the field.

Logano and Bell kicked off a round of green flag pit stops on Lap 188 to take on new tires and fuel to make it to the end of the stage. Chastain cycled to the lead once the stops were completed on Lap 201.

With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Joey Logano continued to struggle with his No. 22 Ford and fell three laps down.

Stage 1

Byron held off a fast-approaching Hamlin to claim the Stage 1 win, his sixth stage victory of the 2023 season. Blaney was third, Keselowski fourth and Chastain fifth.

With qualifying rained out Saturday, Kyle Busch started on the pole based on NASCAR’s performance metric.

During pit stops on Lap 23, race leader Busch was penalized for speeding and had to restart from the rear of the field.

Daniel Suarez was one of three drivers collected in a wreck on Lap 35, which did extensive damage to his No. 99 Chevrolet and knocked him out of the race. Busch also received some damage in the incident.

Brennan Poole got turned by Chastain in Turn 1 on Lap 81 and then shot up the track and collected Kyle Larson. Poole and Larson both received extensive damage and went to the garage.

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