Martin Truex Jr. feels quite at home when racing at Dover International Speedway. He won his only Cup race at this track in 2007 and now is in a good position to win another. Truex captured the pole on Friday, his first of the season, and will lead the field in the Autism Speaks 400 on Sunday.
“Hopefully, the best is yet to come and we’ll be in here talking to you Sunday,” Truex said.
In his first season with Michael Waltrip racing, he is driving the No. 56 car, the same number he used when he made his first career start in NASCAR’s second-tier series at Dover. Truex turned a lap of 157.315 mph to take the pole. A strong race on Sunday would be huge for Truex as he makes a run to get into the top 12 and earn a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He currently is 13th in the points standings, 16 points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Truex has posted solid performances all season with new crew chief Pat Tryson and the transition to MWR has been smooth. In the opening race of the season, he finished sixth and has had seven top-20 finishes this season.
“It took us a while to kind of put all that together and figure out what the cars at MWR wanted and what I wanted,” Truex said. “I feel like we’ve got a better understanding of the race cars now and what we need in them for us to be competitive.”
Kasey Kahne, who will leave Richard Petty Motorsports following the season, finished second on Friday. Kahne signed a long-term deal with Hendrick Motorsports and is still waiting to see what team he will drive for next year. He has said that he has been in contact with team owner Rick Hendrick about next season.
“I think we are about three or four weeks out from finding anything out,” Kahne said. “I know I am getting a little anxious about it. They are working hard and want it to be the right decision. Whatever is decided they want to do the right way and make sure that they come up with the perfect place for me for next year.”
Truex has his odds set at 14/1 to win at Dover on Sunday according to NASCAR sportsbooks. Kyle Busch, who finished fourth on Friday, has his odds set at 9/2 and Mark Martin has his odds at 8/1. Points leader Kevin Harvick heads into Sunday’s race with his odds set at 25/1.