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Martin Truex Jr. thinks his luck is about to turn around


during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil at Dover International Speedway on September 30, 2017 in Dover, Delaware.

Sean Gardner

When Martin Truex Jr. sustained crash damage last week at Talladega Superspeedway and finished 26th, it marked the first time since the spring 2016 that he finished outside the top 10 in four consecutive races.

Truex sustained crash damage in three of the last four races (Texas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and Talladega) and had a problem in the pits at Richmond Raceway.

But Truex has a reason to be hopeful. All except one of the next seven tracks are ones on which he has won – and the other is a track where he might have won on multiple occasions.

First on the calendar is Dover International Speedway and this week’s AAA 400.

Truex scored his first career victory there in 2007. He earned a second victory in 2016. Last year, he swept the top five with a third in the spring and fourth in the fall.

“I just like the race track a lot,” Truex said in a press release. “The first time I went there, I fell in love with the place. Enjoy the challenge of it – it is so different than anywhere else we go. I feel if you like it, you have an advantage. It’s been good to me over the years and I enjoy going there. The banking, the concrete, the surface and the way you land in the corners there – it’s just crazy.”

Along with Dover, Truex has two wins at Kansas Speedway (both races last year), Charlotte Motor Speedway (2016 Coke 600 and last fall’s Bank of America 500) and Chicagoland Speedway (2016 and 2017).

He has single wins at Pocono Raceway (2015) and Sonoma Raceway (2013).

“The upcoming seven tracks have been good to us and we obviously would like to get some wins during this stretch,” said Truex. “We’ve had a rough few weeks – not from a performance standpoint but from a finishing standpoint. We need to make up some points.”

That leaves only Michigan International Speedway as a track on which he has not yet won among the next seven races. Truex has come close on several occasions, however, with second- or third-place finishes. In 2007, he finished in the runner-up position in both races. In 2015, he was third both times NASCAR visited the track – and he added one more third in 2013.

Truex’s most recent effort at Michigan netted a second-place finish to Kyle Larson last summer.

“I know we’re capable of winning any of the next seven races, but a couple of wins is a realistic goal,” he said. “Michigan for sure is one place that we should have won by now, just haven’t been able to put the finishes together at the end of the race.”

And while Truex does not have a victory at Michigan, it is notable that his only win so far this year came at Auto Club Speedway – a track similar to Michigan.

On the next seven tracks combined, Truex has amassed 10 of his 16 Cup wins, along with 29 total top fives and 53 top 10s in 140 starts. Thirteen of these top 10s have come at Dover.