Martin Truex Jr. wins Gander RV 400

by Justin Nguyen

After a wet Sunday that saw rain pour on Dover International Speedway, and force a postponement to MondayMartin Truex Jr. dominated the final stage to win the Gander RV 400. He led 132, all in Stage #3, of 400 laps.

In a Hendrick Motorsports front row sweep, Chase Elliott, who won last week’s race at Talladega Superspeedway and the latest race at Dover, started on the pole alongside William Byron. As Elliott drove off, Joey Logano quickly moved up to second as Byron started to fall. By the lap 40 competition caution, Elliott had led every lap ahead of Logano, while Byron was fourth with Kyle Larson in third.

On lap 103, Quin Houff was black flagged for not meeting minimum speed. The following lap, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit the wall to bring out the first race-related caution. Logano took the lead after pit stops. A second caution took place shortly before Stage #1’s conclusion for Houff, setting up a one-lap sprint to the green-checkered flag. With Team Penske team-mate Brad Keselowski behind him, Logano scored the stage win; Elliott finished third ahead of Larson, Kevin Harvick, Byron, Alex BowmanRyan Blaney, and Kyle Busch.

Stage #2 began on lap 130 with Keselowski the leader. When green flag stops began on lap 182, first place shuffled between Busch, Byron, Michael McDowell, Elliott, and Bowman. On the final lap, Truex passed Bowman to take the lead and stage win, with Harvick, Elliott, Keselowski, Larson, Blaney, Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Erik Jones in tow.

Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Truex took the lead for the start of the final stage on lap 249. The lone caution in the stage came on lap 266 when Denny Hamlin spun in turn one. Although Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, and Daniel Suárez also spent time at the front, Truex dominated en route to his second win of 2019. Coincidentally, he also won Dover’s last Monster Energy Cup Series race to be held on Monday in 2007; it was also his first career Cup victory.

Bowman finished runner-up for the second consecutive week, while Larson scored his best finish of the year in third; it is the first top five of the year for Larson, who has struggled with consistency and luck throughout 2019. Harvick finished fourth, followed by Elliott, Jones, Logano, Byron, Bowyer, and Busch.

Despite Truex’s success, Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Busch was vocal in his disapproval of the aero package used for the race. Bob Leavine, owner of JGR ally Leavine Family Racing, supported Busch’s comments, saying they “[had] nothing to do with where he finished”.

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