Race Weekend Central

Stat Sheet: The Most Dominant Performances of Martin Truex Jr.’s Career

When Martin Truex Jr. wins, he wins.

Monday’s (July 17) NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was no exception.

Truex led 84.4% of the race and 254 of the 301 laps en route to the victory, his first at The Magic Mile. It was a long time coming, as Truex now leads all active drivers with 1,170 laps led on the 1.058-mile oval.

See also
The Big 6: Questions Answered After Martin Truex Jr. Dominates to Win Loudon at Last

Not only was it one of the most dominant performances of his career, but it was also one of the most dominant performances in New Hampshire’s 30 years on the Cup schedule.

It was just the sixth time that a driver led more than 200 laps in a race at the track, and Truex became the fourth driver to win while doing so.

N.H. RaceDriverLaps LedFinish
Sept. 2000Jeff Burton3001st
Nov. 2001Jeff Gordon25715th
July 2023Martin Truex Jr.2541st
July 2005Tony Stewart2321st
Sept. 2007Clint Bowyer2221st
Sept. 2015Kevin Harvick21621st

The third most dominant race in NHMS history in terms of laps led, where does Truex’s triumph rank among his own wins? By percentage of laps led, it’s fourth.

DateTrackLaps Led%
May 2016Charlotte392/40098.0
October 2019Martinsville464/50092.8
May 2021Darlington248/29384.6
July 2023New Hampshire254/30184.4
June 2019Sonoma59/9065.6
July 2018Kentucky174/26765.2
March 2018Fontana125/20062.5
June 2015Pocono97/16060.6
June 2018Sonoma62/11056.4
March 2017Las Vegas150/26756.2

Altogether, Truex has led more than half the race in 12 of his 34 wins and more than 40% of the race in 16 of his 34 wins. He also led the most laps in 19 of the 34.

Truex doesn’t have many wins where he came out of nowhere either. While most Hall of Fame-caliber drivers in the 21st century have at least a win or a handful of wins where they led single digits laps – Kyle Busch, Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano all do – Truex has led at least 20 laps in all of his wins.

In addition, Truex only has two Cup wins (the 2016 Southern 500 and 2021 Martinsville) where he led less than 10% of the race distance.

All of this makes sense given that Truex has led 12,036 laps in his Cup career, good enough for 17th all time; he is currently tied with Kurt Busch for 25th on the all-time win list.

See also
Stock Car Scoop: Is Martin Truex Jr. the New Championship Favorite?

Leading laps isn’t the only way Truex has dominated throughout his career, however. He also has a knack for pulling a significant gap on second place when taking the checkered flag.

Since 2006 – Truex’s rookie season – there have been 27 Cup races that had a margin of victory greater than seven seconds. Not all of the margins were a result of pure speed, as there have been plenty of fuel mileage finishes in the last 17 years. When excluding those races, there have been 12 races since 2006 where a driver pulled a seven-second margin on race pace alone.

DateTrackDriverMargin of Victory (seconds)
June 2007DoverMartin Truex Jr.7.355
May 2010DoverKyle Busch7.551
Oct. 2010KansasGreg Biffle7.638
April 2011TexasMatt Kenseth8.315
Oct. 2016DoverMartin Truex Jr.7.527
Sept. 2017ChicagoMartin Truex Jr.7.179
March 2018Auto ClubMartin Truex Jr.11.685
May 2018DoverKevin Harvick7.450
June 2018SonomaMartin Truex Jr.10.513
May 2019DoverMartin Truex Jr.9.501
March 2020Auto ClubAlex Bowman8.904
May 2021CharlotteKyle Larson10.051

Twelve races, and Truex was the winner in six of them; no one else appeared on the list more than once.

Moving on to next weekend’s race at Pocono Raceway, Truex retook the regular season points lead after winning at New Hampshire. Prior to 2023, the last time he was the regular season points leader was after five races of the 2018 season.

Meanwhile, it’s not a given that he will be back for 2024. But whether he comes back or decides to call it quits at the end of the season, last weekend showed that he can still dominate.

About the author

Stephen Stumpf is the NASCAR Content Director for Frontstretch, and his weekly columns include “Stat Sheet” and “4 Burning Questions.” Stephen also writes commentary, contributes weekly to the “Bringing the Heat” podcast and is frequently at the track for on-site coverage. A native of Texas, Stephen began following NASCAR at age 9 after attending his first race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Follow on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via