Martin Truex Jr. mastered another Monday matinee to win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the first time in 30 career Cup tries at the same track where as a kid he watched from the grandstands while his father raced.
Thanks to rain postponements, Truex won his second Monday race of the season — he also won at Dover — and fourth of his career.
Truex dominated in the No. 19 Toyota en route to his third win of the season. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver secured one of the few wins he desperately wanted in a career that could be winding down. The 43-year-old Truex, the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion, said over the weekend he was close to a decision on his future: either retire or return for another season at JGR.
“We should have a company policy that says when one of your teammates is leading, don’t crash by yourself,” Truex said over the radio.
It really didn’t matter for Truex. He pulled away off the restart with nine laps left and could taste victory — and soon enough, the 20-pound lobster that traditionally goes to the winner.
It’s a perfect reward for Truex, who also grew up helping his dad on his family’s clam boat.
“I just kind of stood there in awe and watched,” Truex said over the weekend.
And as soon as Truex could race at New Hampshire, he won. Truex had just turned 20 years old when he won a regional stock car series race at the track. Pretty cool. Even better? His father finished fifth in the same race.
“This place is a big reason why I got to where I am,” the younger Truex said.
Much like last year, Truex won the first two stages of the 301-lap race.
Joey Logano finished second. Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Resers Fine Foods Toyota, is presented Loudon the Lobster in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Crayon 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2023 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
The series shifts to Pocono Raceway, where Chase Elliott is the defending race winner — even though he failed to finish first. Denny Hamlin had his Pocono win thrown out and so did runner-up Kyle Busch because of failed inspections. Hamlin was the first winner DQ’d since 1960.