His first win at Dover was also the last for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Dover International Speedway and for Martin Truex Jr ., it's a return to a site of one of his greatest triumphs. A native of New Jersey, Truex considers Dover his home track, and in 2007, the then 26-year-old found some home cooking at the Monster Mile. Driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in his second full-time premier series season after winning back-to-back titles in what was then called the NASCAR Busch Series, the closest Truex had previously come to a Cup victory was a second-place showing in the 2006 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . It all came together for Truex on a Monday afternoon, June 4, 2007 at Dover. Yes, that's right a Monday afternoon, after rain washed out the planned 400-lap event on Sunday. And the extra day wait was well worth it for Truex. Starting 26th in the field, Truex worked his way up and by Lap 125 he held the lead. All told Truex led 216 of the 400 laps, including 200 of the final 243 circuits to score his first career Sprint Cup victory by a stunning 7.355-second margin. His win was the deepest a victorious driver had started in the field at Dover since Tony Stewart in 2000 and has yet to be matched. "I remember everything about it," Truex said two weeks ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Sprint All-Star Race weekend. "I mean it's like absolutely everything. I remember how practice went, what we did to the car, where we were. I remember the whole weekend. "It was a special day for sure. And to win there for me, that's my home track and it's like one of my favorites tracks so it was a big deal. We had a lot of friends and family there, too." Truex stayed hot in the coming weeks with a third-place finish at Pocono and a runner-up result at Michigan. He would go on to make the Chase that season as well. However, Truex's next win didn't come for 218 premier series races, until 2013 at Sonoma when he was driving for Michael Waltrip Racing . "Honestly when we won that race we thought we were going to start clicking them off," Truex said. "We had chances that year; that was a great year for us in '07. We were in position to win a bunch of races. A lot of times things went like they did last weekend (at Kansas). It was disappointing but we really felt like that season was our breakout season. Then things started to go downhill when things started to break apart (at DEI)." The win would be the last of 24 premier series victories for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., the race team founded by seven-time champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt. The month before Truex's Dover win, Dale Earnhardt Jr . announced he was leaving the race team at the end of the season. Starting with the 2009 season, DEI merged with Chip Ganassi Racing to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, a partnership that lasted until the end of the 2013 season. The win also came on the same day that Bill France Jr., the son NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and the father to current NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, passed away at 74. --- NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce contributed to this report FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: Can't get enough Coca-Cola 600 coverage? George Winkler and Kenny Bruce have you covered with extensive reporting on NASCAR's longest race. ... @nascarcasm dreams up what drivers would tweet to President Obama, now that he has a personal account on Twitter. TUESDAY: Look for Power Rankings presented by John Deere to get another shakeup this week. Who would you vote for No. 1? Make sure to tell us in the comments section. Senior writer Kenny Bruce takes a deep dive into what actually goes on during a rookie meeting, and how that has changed over time. Plus, check out @nascarcasm's always-hilarious photo recap of the Coca-Cola 600 WEDNESDAY: Check out which paint schemes will be on display at Dover International Speedway this weekend for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks . Plus, learn more about the history of Dover in our track photo gallery. High 5, which drops every Wednesday at noon ET, will bring some of the best NASCAR-related content from around the web. THURSDAY: It's a tripleheader at Dover, so trucks are on track for 145 minutes -- NASCAR.com has you covered with a live leaderboard. Senior writer Holly Cain will feature how Catwalk for a Cause has become so near and dear to Martin Truex Jr . Speaking of Truex, Dover is his home track, and we'll look back on his first career win at the 1-mile concrete oval. FRIDAY: There are six on-track events, and we'll cover them all, starting at 10 a.m. with XFINITY Series practice and culminating later in the evening with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. We'll also have eight of the best tweets that you may have missed from the previous week. Also coming this week: We'll recap the entire Charlotte weekend in GIF form, a fun way to look back at the top moments from CMS ... Dover is known for its unique trophy -- check out it, along with some of the others from across the sport ... Kenny Bruce hits all the high notes from a technical perspective on Wednesday in Tech Talk ... Thursday's Driver Reports will forecast who should be favored at the Monster Mile.
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: Kevin Harvick couldn't quite catch Denny Hamlin in Saturday's All-Star Race. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver says he was not frustrated by finishing second, and looks ahead to the Coca-Cola 600 . ... @nascarcasm recaps the race in photos, as only he can, and Weekend in GIFs will allow you to relive the action in a fun way. TUESDAY: Power Rankings presented by John Deere got another shakeup this week -- yes, there's a new No. 1. Who do you think it is? Plus, check out Denny Hamlin 's imaginary Facebook page created by @nascarcasm. Senior writer Holly Cain features "Catwalk for a Cause," the annual charity event Martin Truex Jr . and girlfriend Sherry Pollex held last week. WEDNESDAY: Check out which paint schemes will be on display at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 . Plus, learn more about the history of CMS in our track photo gallery. And stay plugged in to NASCAR.com throughout the day as the Hall of Fame Class of 2016 is selected. THURSDAY: Cars are on track at Charlotte, and we'll have live leaderboards for you to follow. In honor of Throwback Thursday, we'll look back at Dale Earnhardt's first ever premier series win -- which came 40 years ago, at Charlotte. Brad Norman and George Winkler debate whether the annual 600-mile event needs to be shortened. FRIDAY: Coming out of the All-Star break, NASCAR.com presents some of its superlatives from the season so far. Also coming this week: Senior writer Kenny Bruce reports following his visit to the HScott Motorsports shop in Spartanburg, South Carolina ... the High Heel Dash (yes, you read that correctly) is Thursday, and we're previewing the event -- and who's in it -- on Tuesday ... High 5 (Wednesday) gives you some of the best NASCAR-related content from throughout the week, while Friday's Driver Reports clues you in on who has the best chance to win at Charlotte.
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: During the rain delay at Kansas, Dale Earnhardt Jr . said he was in "big trouble." See how the No. 88 team rallied for a top-five finish. And with the race in the rearview mirror, @nascarcasm offers his race recap -- in photos -- as only he can. TUESDAY: Expect Power Rankings presented by John Deere to get another shakeup this week -- will Jimmie Johnson rise to No. 1? Plus, check out 'Six-Time's' imaginary Facebook page created by @nascarcasm. NASCAR.com's Jessica Ruffin will explore the plan for some of Hendrick Motorsports ' pit crews for the first stand-alone event of the season, with the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Iowa Speedway . WEDNESDAY: Check out which paint schemes will be on display at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Sprint All-Star Race. Plus, learn more about the history of CMS in our track photo gallery. THURSDAY: Trucks are on track at Charlotte, and we'll have live leaderboards for you to follow. In honor of Throwback Thursday, we'll look back to Jeff Gordon 's win in the 1992 All-Star race, plus take a historical look at the standings entering the All-Star Race during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup era. FRIDAY: Get all the on-track action slated for Charlotte throughout the day and evening, including the Sprint Showdown practice, qualifying and race; All-Star Race practice; and Truck Series qualifying, and the race itself. Also coming this week: In Tech Talk, senior writer Kenny Bruce hits the high notes of a busy on-track week ... RJ Kraft and George Winkler will debate the All-Star Race format ... we'll look back on same of the best paint schemes in the history of the All-Star Race.
NASCAR.COM's Jonathan Merryman and Kenny Bruce break down a diverse set of nominees, whose careers practically span NASCAR's existence, as they are nominated into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: Continued coverage of Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s Talladega win, plus reaction from Jeff Gordon after another speeding penalty ruined his day. And on "Star Wars Day" @nascarcasm combines the iconic film franchise with NASCAR. TUESDAY: Expect Power Rankings presented by John Deere to get another shakeup this week -- how high will Junior rise? Plus, check out Dale Jr.'s imaginary Facebook page created by @nascarcasm, as well as fake texts between Junior and Tony Stewart following their Richmond run-in. Senior writer Kenny Bruce will report from Charlotte at an event with Jimmie Johnson , Chad Knaus, Rusty Wallace and Michael Waltrip . WEDNESDAY: Check out which paint schemes will be on display at Kansas Speedway . Senior writer Kenny Bruce will be at the NASCAR R&D Center for Richard Childress Racing 's final appeal. THURSDAY: In advance of the SpongeBob SquarePants 400, we take a look at what would happen if SpongeBob and NASCAR collided. Senior writer Holly Cain, who has covered both Dale Earnhardt Jr . and his father, has a column on Sunday's remarkable win. And to get you ready for Kansas, Driver Reports has a full breakdown on how the 16 drivers currently in the Chase Grid do at that track. FRIDAY: Get all the on-track action slated for Kansas throughout the day and evening, including a Truck Series race under the lights. We'll also catch you up on eight tweets you might have missed. Also coming this week: On Tuesday, Zack Albert will be on hand when the new NASCAR Next class is announced. Holly Cain writes about Carl Edwards ' frustrating Talladega finish. ... Check out a photo gallery Wednesday of NASCAR drivers and their mothers, in advance of Mother's Day. ... We'll preview Erik Jones first career Sprint Cup start, and look back on Joey Gase 's career-best XFINITY Series finish.
Race Center analysts Chuck Bush and Kenny Bruce break down the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and discuss Hendrick horsepower, a possible Roush resurgence, and make their picks for who will take the checkers at Talladega.
NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce and Chris Rice give their picks and let you you know what you can expect from the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway.
NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce and Chris Rice fill you in on who they think will leave their mark this weekend at the Last Great Colosseum.