Truex Jr. Heads Home

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As defining moments go, last year's victory at Dover proved the biggest one for Martin Truex Jr. in his late-season charge to the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series championship.

A native of Mayetta, N.J., Truex considers Dover his home track. His win there last year pushed his lead over second-place Kyle Busch to 152 points, and virtually cemented the title for Truex and Chance 2 Motorsports.

He leads Clint Bowyer, in second place, by 69 points with only seven races remaining. Now, Truex once again alludes to Saturday's race in his quest to repeat as champion.

"We really need a good run, and we have enjoyed some great success [at Dover]," Truex said. "Last year, this race really gave us a big boost of confidence for the last part of the season. This race is coming at a perfect time for us."

Truex held a season-high 204-point lead over Bowyer four races ago. Over the next three races, he dropped 135 points due to finishes of 15th and 27th at California and Richmond, respectively. In addition, he lost 25 points following a penalty at Richmond. Bowyer, meanwhile, clicked off a fourth-place finish at Bristol, a third at California and an 11th at Richmond to climb back into the championship race.

But a well-timed weekend off has given Truex that "moment" feeling again.

"I think the week off came just in time," Truex said. "It gave us the opportunity to regroup. This just shows how competitive the NASCAR Busch Series is. We knew coming into this year that it would be really hard to repeat to as champions.

"We are a championship team that has been able to overcome a lot this season, and I have no doubt that we will be able to make up the points we lost over the last few races."

Last week, Truex invited his crew chief, Kevin Manion, crew members and their wives to Mayetta for a hometown getaway. A huge sports fan, Truex also took in the Philadelphia Eagles - San Francisco 49ers game.

"We didn't worry about racing or the pressures of this points battle," he said. "We were just like a bunch of buddies getting away for a small vacation.

"When you have a few bad weeks, there is nothing better than going to your home track to get back to championship form."

Race Center

ToyotaCare 250

@ Richmond Int'l Raceway
Friday, April 25, 2014 7:00 PM
Radio Start:
MRN, 6:30 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
ESPNEWS, 6:30 p.m. (ET)

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