Rain postpones rest of Dover NASCAR Cup race to Monday

DOVER, Del. – Martin Truex Jr. has a blueprint for how to win at Dover Motor Speedway on Monday.

Step 1, rain on Sunday.

Truex could win a third time at the Monster Mile on a unique race day after the rain stopped action for just 78 laps of Sunday’s 400-mile race. Truex raced to his first NASCAR Cup championship on June 4, 2007, in Dover, and 12 years later used another rainout to claim the checkered flag on May 6, 2019.

This is the fourth of 104 Dover races in his career it will run on Monday.

With a green flag starting just after 3 p.m. and no lights on at the concrete one-mile track, NASCAR faced a tight window to reach the halfway required for an official race. So they will fire up the engines again at noon Monday with the Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott starting from 1-2. Ryan Blaney third, Truex fourth and William Byron Thursday.

Larson used his umbrella as a de facto stick as he walked back from the tunnel into the garage area. He stopped and posed for pictures with members of the Greater Dover Boys & Girls Club.

Truex are unbeaten this season with two top five finishes in the first 10 Cup races. He won four races last season and certainly wants to push through the win column, especially during contract negotiations with Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex, 41, started her 596th career at Dover and is set to join Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch is the driver that works with 600 starts.

“It’s a lot of racing, but pretty cool if we have,” Truex said. “My career hasn’t been easy. We’ve had a lot of tough years, gone through a lot of things and to still be here fighting, fighting to win is pretty cool.”

Truex’s 2007 Dover won his only win from his 2004 debut until 2013. He won once in 2013 and once in 2015 before his career took off, first as with Furniture Row Racing, and now with JGR. He won the 2017 Cup at Furniture Row and won seven races in 2019 driving for Joe Gibbs.

Now, he’s a solid Hall of Fame driver.

“I see the men in the Hall of Fame and what they’ve done, and statistically, it’s there,” Truex said. “But I don’t know. I really don’t give it much thought.”

He has time to think on Sunday. Dover ordered an assessment of the stands and asked fans to seek shelter or return to transport. Chris Buescher tweeted that he was bored during the delay and held the AMA on Twitter. Among the revelations, the 1979 Ford Bronco was his dream car, and Rusty Wallace, and later Mark Martin, were his favorite drivers growing up.

Buescher won the only Cup race of his career in a weather shortening race in 2016 – yes, on Monday – at the Pocono Raceway. Success has been rare for Buescher since then but he took the pole at Dover – the first of more than 230 Cup races in his career and 74 Xfinity starts.

“I guess that’s not something I used to be very focused on,” Buescher said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about that checkered flag at the end of the race.”

That’s who he’ll have to chase at Dover on Monday.

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