Three-time Dover International Speedway race winner and three-time 2021 NASCAR Cup Series race victor Martin Truex will begin his bid for a fourth Dover win and fourth win of the season from the pole Sunday in the Drydene 400.
“Just ever since I went there the first time, it’s a place I really enjoyed going to,” Truex said. “It’s a unique track where you can use a lot of past history, and I think for me when I go there, I don’t really worry a whole lot about how fast we are or exactly what the setup is or things like that. I really just kind of go by feel of the car and know what I’m looking for. That’s really a key for a lot of places is once you figure it out, if you can duplicate that feel or those certain little tendencies, your car has to do well, you can carry that through the years, and we’ve been able to do that there. Hopefully, we’ll get it feeling the way I like this weekend and get up there and try to win another one.”
Truex will be joined on the front row Sunday by one of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Cup Series points leader Denny Hamlin. Hamlin won the first race of a Dover doubleheader last season.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson will start in the second row in the third and fourth positions.
“Dover has always been a good track for me. I’ve led a lot of laps and finished in the top-10 a lot of times there,” Larson said. “I’m definitely excited to race at Dover this weekend, and definitely excited to drive a Hendrick Motorsports car there. They’ve run well there for a long time, now. It’s a fast track, and you have to keep up with the changing track conditions during a run. It’s aggressive, so I like it.”
Kevin Harvick, another three-time Dover winner, including the second race of the 2020 Dover doubleheader, will start fifth, alongside Truex and Hamlin’s JGR teammate Kyle Busch.
“Dover is one of those race tracks where, if we don’t win, we feel like we’ve let everybody down,” Harvick said. “It’s been a great race track for us, and we’ve had some really dumb luck there with lug nuts and valve stems, but outside of those few races, it’s been a very successful race track for us. I think that was Rodney’s [Childers, crew chief] goal when we got to Stewart-Haas Racing, because he loved racing at Dover, and it was always my worst race track when I was at RCR [Richard Childress Racing]. Ever since the very first day that we’ve gone to Dover at Stewart-Haas Racing, it’s been a good race track for us, and we’ve run well. Dover is just one of those grind-it-out-type of races. The harder you can drive it and the more aggressive that you can be lap after lap after lap by being more aggressive and consistent, you can grind a lot of them into the ground there, just because 400 laps around Dover, staying focused, and being able to grind away with your race car that hard for that long is tough mentally and physically. It’s a fun race.”
Ryan Blaney will start seventh, sharing the fourth row of Sunday’s starting grid with reigning champion and Byron and Larson’s HMS teammate Chase Elliott. Joey Logano and Chris Buescher will start in the fifth row in the ninth and 10th positions.
DRYDENE 400 STARTING LINEUP