Martin Truex Jr. will race in the Nationwide Series at Dover International Speedway for the first time in two years Saturday, driving for Phoenix Racing in the Dover 200.
It may be Truex's best opportunity to win a NASCAR national series race this season. The Monster Mile not only is Truex's hometown track, but also where he has been the most successful in his career. Truex won back-to-back Nationwide races in his championship seasons of 2004 and 2005 and took his sole Sprint Cup triumph in 2007 at Dover.
Truex has struggled in Cup in his final year with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. He's 24th in points, without a top five and has three top 10s going into Sunday's AAA 400. Truex finished 21st in the previous Cup race at Dover this year.
Truex warmed up for Dover by finishing sixth with Phoenix in his first Nationwide start of the season in the previous race at Richmond. He has made twelve starts in the series the past four seasons, including a second-place run at Dover in September 2007. Truex has led laps in his last six races there.
The Truex family is hoping for a big weekend. Ryan Truex, Martin's 17-year-old brother, can clinch the Camping World East Series title by finishing fourth or better in Friday's Sunoco 150. It will be Ryan Truex's debut at Dover.
Always popular at Dover, Martin Truex, through his foundation, gave something back to fans this week. He donated 100 tickets for Sunday's Cup race. The recipients were chosen from a list of people who did not renew from last season. They were selected based upon letters or personal stories on why they could not afford to renew.
“When we heard that Dover had a list of fans who wanted to come to the race but couldn't for one reason or another, we decided to take care of them,” Truex said. “The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation is always looking for new ways to help those in need in the NASCAR community, and we felt this was a great way to support fans who wanted to be at the race in Dover. Dover obviously has a special place in my heart.”
by Tim Tuttle and Bill Marx/Sporting News