Truex Denies Kvapil For Surprise Dover Xfinity Win


Ryan Truex (20) leads Carson Kvapil Saturday at Dover Motor Speedway. (John Harrelson/NKP for Toyota Racing photo)

DOVER, Del. – Ryan Truex never led a lap in regulation during Saturday’s BetRivers200 at Dover Motor Speedway, but he was out front at the most important moment of all.

With a deep charge into turn three following a double-overtime restart, Truex cleared rookie Carson Kvapil to assume the lead, then drove away as cars crashed behind him on the frontstretch.

That incident led to the last of 10 yellow flags on the day at the Monster Mile and froze the field in the process, giving Truex his second straight NASCAR Xfinity Series win at the one-mile concrete oval.

Both of Truex’s wins at NASCAR’s second highest level have come at Dover, which the Mayetta, N.J., native considers his home track. This one, however, was as unexpected as it was welcomed.

A spin by Austin Hill on the first try at overtime led to Truex assuming the runner-up position and choosing the inside of the front row for the race-defining sprint to the finish.

Restarting alongside Kvapil, Truex ran the 20-year-old up the banking in turn three, assuming the top spot coming to the white flag with his No. 20 Toyota GR Supra.

After that, early race leader and stage one winner Justin Allgaier wrecked near the flagstand, forcing the caution lights on as a result. That gave Truex his chance to celebrate again in front of his home fan base.


Ryan Truex celebrates in victory lane at Dover Motor Speedway. (Ben Earp/NKP for Toyota Racing photo)

“That was not as easy as last year,” admitted Truex after his victory burnout. “Halfway through the race, I felt like crap. I was running 10th or whatever – after dominating last year – and I was a bit embarrassed, like I wasn’t doing my job [well] enough. The last pit stop, I totally butchered it and slid through the box. We just had really good restarts there at the end to make up what we needed. I picked the right lanes.

“Our GR Supra was as fast as Xfinity internet on the last few runs. I felt like I could go for about three laps, and that would be when I started to get loose – so that was big for me,” added Truex of the late, short runs in the closing laps. “I just kept making spots up. I’ve never won a race like this, where I wasn’t very good, but it feels like we just stole one and that feels really good.”

For much of the race, it appeared the storyline was going to be Mother Nature, as a storm front loomed around the racetrack and looked like it might force an early end to Saturday’s event.

Allgaier and Cole Custer split the two stage wins, with Custer passing Talladega winner Jesse Love on lap 73 and leading a race-high 95 laps before the drizzle arrived and forced a red-flag stoppage with 33 to go.

For 12 minutes and 48 seconds, it appeared Custer might be in the catbird’s seat, but the weather faded just as quickly as it arrived and forced Custer to give up the lead for tires and fuel when the field began rolling again.

Pitting under a closed pit road also dropped Custer to the tail-end of the lineup for the restart, ending his shot at the victory and scuttling Ford’s hopes of its first NASCAR national series win of the season.

A quick caution after the ensuing green flag sent Allgaier and Parker Kligerman down for their last round of service, putting Austin Hill in command after a bump-and-run move on Allgaier gave him the lead just before polesitter Brandon Jones went spinning on lap 174.

Hill then held serve through another restart before Taylor Gray’s visit with the turn-two wall set up an 11-lap dash, pitting him against his former Richard Childress Racing teammate and chief Xfinity Series rival Sheldon Creed.

Creed pushed Hill up the banking on the lap-190 restart, gaining the lead before Hill repaid the move with a shot to the back bumper of Creed’s Toyota, causing an exchange of lanes but keeping the pair side-by-side for the top spot as the laps ticked down.

Coming to eight laps left, Kvapil saw an opportunity off turn four to make it a three-wide battle up front, driving deep into turn one to grab the lead in just his second-ever Xfinity Series start.

A seven-car crash off turn four, sparked by Riley Herbst spinning after contact from behind, drew the race’s eighth caution and set up the first of the two overtime restarts.

At that point, it was Kvapil and Hill on the front row, but when the duo raced into the turn-one banking Hill’s Chevrolet went around on the inside and eventually stalled off the exit of the second corner.

That set up the final restart and Truex’s winning move, which forced Kvapil to settle for a career-best – but still bittersweet – second-place finish.

Kvapil was hoping to become the 15th Xfinity Series driver to earn their first series win at Dover, but tipped that he “just missed it by a little bit” going into turn three at the end.

“I thought we had a pretty good restart on the first overtime with [Austin Hill], but man, it sucks to get that close and not come away with a trophy,” lamented Kvapil. “I really don’t even know what to say. I think we had a really fast Chevrolet. JR Motorsports brought me a really good piece … and I’m fortunate to be in the spot that I am and happy we had a shot to win the race at the end there, but we never had a great car that I could get through the restarts like I needed to.

“I was pretty questionable about [choosing] the top lane … because my car seemed to pin the bottom the whole day, but it seemed like the top was so dominant and [Ryan] just barely got to me there in [turn] three. We were close.”

Sam Mayer was scored third ahead of Creed, who faded to fourth, with Custer rallying back from outside the top 15 with 28 to go to complete the top five.

Sixth through 10th were A.J. Allmendinger, Chandler Smith, Kyle Weatherman, Anthony Alfredo, and Parker Retzlaff.

Alfredo’s ninth-place effort gave him and the underdog Our Motorsports team the final $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus of the season. He bested Herbst, Love, and Ryan Sieg to secure the six-figure check.

Of note, Hill ended up 15th after his late spin, while contact with Truex on lap 104 cut a left-rear tire on Love’s Chevrolet and forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop. Love finished 24th, two laps down.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series takes a week off before heading to Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Saturday, May 11 for the Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 as part of NASCAR’s annual throwback weekend.

Newsletter Banner

The ultimate entertainment platform for race fans and collectors to collect, buy, sell, and trade digital MP4 collectible racing cards. RFD is designed to give all racers in all series a chance to promote their brand and connect with fans in the digital world


For Race Face Digital merchandise please visit our online store!

Don't forget to follow Race Face Digital on social media.

About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.