Big Catch: Martin Truex Jr. Gets First NHMS NASCAR Cup Series Victory In Crayon 301 

Martin Truex Jr. with his 22-pound live lobster trophy on the roof of his car after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Crayon 301 Monday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

LOUDON, N.H. – Before becoming a professional stock car driver, Martin Truex Jr. grew up around the family fishing business. 

It’s well known that every great fisherman always has a story about the one that got away. 

For Truex, over 19 years as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, a Cup Series win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway stood forever as the one that got away. 

Monday Truex finally hauled in the big catch at the track that has meant so much to his family over the last three decades in racing. 

Truex, from Mayetta, N.J., dominated the day on the way to victory in the Cup Series Crayon 301 Monday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“Been after this one a long time,” Truex said. “This one is sweet.” 

“It’s no secret that I’ve been after this one for a long time. It’s always been one that I wanted it so bad. It was well worth the wait.” 

The race was originally scheduled for Sunday but postponed to due to rain. 

The Truex family history of racing goes back more than three decades at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Martin Truex Sr. made his first start at NHMS with the former Busch North Series [current ARCA Menards East Series] in 1992. He got his only career victory in the division at NHMS in 1994. Martin Truex Jr. won with the K&N Pro Series East [current ARCA Menards East Series] in 2000 and 2003 at NHMS and he won with the former Busch Series [current XFINITY Series] at NHMS in 2005. His younger brother Ryan Truex swept both K&N Pro Series East events at NHMS in 2010.

“This is the first big track I ever came to with my dad and watched and the first time I ever saw [NASCAR Cup Series] cars in person,” Martin Truex Jr. said. “… It’s been a special place for us. Being able to win in K&N [Pro Series East], being able to win in the [former Busch Series now XFINITY Series], this one has been alluding me for a long long time. So just really really happy, really thankful.” 

Coming into Monday’s event Martin Truex Jr. had made 29 career Cup Series starts at NHMS with eight top-fives and 14 top-10’s, having led 916 laps in Cup Series competition. 

Monday he led 254 laps on the way to victory. 

“What we’ve been able to do here over the years is pretty remarkable,” Martin Truex Jr. said. “And to not win was really getting frustrated. 

“Just really awesome job by everybody. What a race car we had today. Just proud of the whole team. Pit stops were flawless. Race car was unbelievable. We had some challenges at times throughout the race and it was a handful at times, but we just kept our heads down and kept digging.” 

Middletown, CT native Joey Logano was second and Kyle Larson was third. 

When you’re at your home race track second hurts more than anywhere else,” Logano said. “There’s no place I want to win more than here and I came up one spot short.” 

The Cup Series winning car of Martin Truex Jr. in victory lane with the 22-pound lobster trophy on the roof following the NASCAR Cup Series Crayon 301 Monday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)


  1. Great Race For Martin. What Happened To Ryan? 15th to 28 th (2 laps down). TV DID LET US KNOW

  2. The Reg,
    Haven’t heard yet.

  3. From video posted on Twitter, Preece was wrecked. He was a little upset with a certain driver.

  4. 41 running side by side with the 34,
    34 runs him up into the wall in turn 2, assuming it wasn’t malicious, BUT STILL….

    anyway, the 41 was screwed up badly afterwards
    Ryan drove his butt off all race trying to dig out from the deep 20s in the race.

  5. McDowell fenced Preece pretty hard and bent everything on the right side. Preece pitted under green.

  6. McDowell took out Preece.

  7. Future teammate Mcdowell got lose under him and sent him into the wall during the last stage.

    nascar’s twitter has the video.

  8. Hopefully the decent monday fan showing and decent race product is enough to quiet the rumors about this place for another year.

    will be interesting to see if 2024 renewal offers pop up this week.

  9. Good race, watched on TV. Great win for Truex who’s a New Englander by default. Loved his comment about there being an understanding among teammates, that if one was leading don’t wreck yourself, about Bell. TV had great coverage of racing throughout the field. Only complaint is about the constant talk of points lap after lap after lap. There are plenty of places to find point standings, and discussing points as they run on lap 5 of a 301 lap race is just annoying. Chase Elliott can’t point his way in, he needs a win, I get it, don’t need to hear it every 5 laps.

  10. Zig 13, who is Mcdowell replacing at SHR? Josh Berry is going in the 4, nothing’s been announced about the 10 and Briscoe is contracted through 2025.
    Preece is having a bad year overall. I attribute some of it to this new car, and his lack of seat time in it. I think if Cup still had 3 hours of practice each week he’d probably be doing better. Nascar says this format is to save teams money, but that’s B.S., I’ll guarantee they’re all spending a ton of money trying to gain an advantage. When tolerances are measured in thousands of an inch, and teams are forced to use spec parts, it costs outrageous amounts of money to gain even a slight advantage, that usually doesn’t last more than a week or 2. I think Ryan will get better with seat time. Hopefully SHR believes that too.

  11. I read an article a while back about the cost of Cup sponsorship. According to the article, back in 2018 the average cost of a full year primary sponsorship was around $20 million dollars, some more, some less. In 2023 that figure jumped to near $50 million. Can’t confirm that, but I’m inclined to believe it. I’ve noticed More and more teams with multiple sponsorships race to race. Could you imagine $50 million just to sponsor a race car? Outrageous.

  12. We All Know Ryan Can Drive His Buttock Off!!!!!!!!! For God Sakes, Why Does Everbody Keep Screwing Him (wanted to put it differently) .

  13. rob,

    Almirola sounds more likely to retire than not at the moment. and McDowell seems like the favorite to replace him atm.

    Zane smith and Harrison burton are the other 2 ive seen. Zane is under contract with FRM though, so he might replace McDowell.

    haven’t seen much about preece. which might be good? you usually hear about people on the hot seat by now.

  14. I dont know robp.
    Im not sure that preece has that seat next year or if that seat even exists. His only chance is he has to win imo.
    Haas self sponsors that car most weeks. While im sure someone will step up to sponsor Berry in the 4, losing Busch as a primary sponsor at Haas has to hurt. I think the 41 is in real jeopardy for next year, and preece more, unless he wins. Even then no guarantees. Jmo.

  15. Zig 13,

    Just went to and the main page says “lock in your tickets for 2024.” Hoping that’s a good sign. Doesn’t have a specific date though.

  16. Sharpie Fan says

    I was disappointed that they didn’t have any Preece matchbox cars at the souvenir trailer.
    Heard on his radio during that late race caution “not enough time to fix what’s wrong under caution and you don’t have any tires left so stay out”.

  17. Capt. Mike Qbvious says

    McDowell is one of the rumor mill favorites to replace Aric Almirola in the #10 if he retires, but the situation is a bit complicated. Per Fox Sports, Front Row Motorsports (FRM) has a team option on McDowell that they can exercise. So while McDowell has stated his preference is to stay at FRM, it’s not really up to him. FRM also has Zane Smith under contract and want to move him up to the Cup Series. So unless FRM acquires a third charter or decides to run an unchartered car (like Preece did at JTG for a couple of years), they would have to release McDowell or Todd Gilliland to make room for Smith. Performance would say to hold on to McDowell, age would say to hold on to Gilliland. And of course, as it relates to SHR, it could all end up moot if Almirola decides to come back again.

  18. Almirola was going to retire last season or this season, but was kept around by SHR. He’s probably not coming back next season, so that seat is open, or that car gets axed.

    Harvick is gone.

    Preece is higher in points than Almirola and Briscoe. And if Preece was not taken out so many times, he’d be far higher in points.

    Next season, Harvick and Almirola are gone from SHR.

    Josh Berry joins SHR next season.

    Preece needs a really good crew chief and spotter.

  19. When we were at the track on Monday we did renew our tickets for Saturday and Sunday I’m sure the date will be announced when the 2024 schedule comes out. Does anybody know why Ryan didn’t have his modified there?

  20. Capt. Mike Qbvious says

    Personally, despite Preece’s admittedly underwhelming performance overall this year, I’m not as concerned others here are about him losing the #41 ride, for the following reasons:

    1) Stewart-Haas Racing has collectively been a dumpster fire this year. The organization is winless, and its four drivers currently rank 9th (Harvick), 26th (Preece), 27th (Almirola), and 31st (Briscoe) in points. Even if you gave Briscoe his 120-point penalty back from Charlotte, he would still only be 24th in the standings. If everyone else was winning races and in the top-10 in points, but Preece was still 26th, you could easily say he’s the weak link and has to be replaced. But his performance so far has been in line with SHR as a whole.

    2) SHR already has had to replace their top driver for 2024 and has lost their biggest sponsor. If Aric Almirola retires, that’s a second driver they have to replace. The organization needs stability from somewhere right now, and I think both Stewart and Haas have been at this long enough to recognize that you don’t build stability by potentially replacing three out of four drivers in one off-season.

    3) As Jim Boeheim (former Syracuse men’s basketball coach) liked to say, “who are you going to find that’s better?” It’s easy to say a driver/player stinks and has to go, but then you have to find someone to replace them. Maybe I’m being ignorant or naive, but right now I’m not seeing who the obvious candidates are to replace Preece — especially ones that aren’t currently under contract for 2024 and beyond. (Obviously contracts can be negotiated out of, but it’s a lot more difficult than signing a true free agent.)

    3a) As an aside, the #41 being self-sponsored in most race doesn’t really impact my opinion of Preece’s status. That car was at least partially self-sponsored most races when Kurt Busch drove it, and he had a lot of success with SHR (6 wins and three playoff “Elite Eights”.) If they couldn’t or wouldn’t find a full primary sponsor for Kurt Busch, then it clearly would take special circumstances to find one for Ryan Preece or anyone else.

  21. Joe,
    Ryan has said multiple times since late last year that his entire focus this year is on the Cup car and that he would likely not compete in any Modified events in 2023. He reiterated that fact on Saturday during a press conference at NHMS.

  22. Suitcase Jake says

    Captain O …I hope your right … A huge difference a year makes.. The 10 car was strong Sunday.. Leading the race and wheel came off .. Just bothers me that the SHR # 4 & # 10 were both up front with SHR cars and Preece in the # 41 didn’t have the speed of those teammates…is there a problem within SHR not sharing information ….?????? I think Ryan’s best chance is to Win at Martinsville to assure another season in Cup …..

  23. Captain o
    Respectfully agree to disagree on 3a.
    You said it. Busch had 6 wins, and 3 “elites”.
    Preece, yeah first year, not even anywhere near a win, or top 5. Anyone can say “bad luck” ,and maybe thats true. But not a lot to glow on for his season, sans martinsville. Gotta have something good happen and quick.
    Secondly, its a big deal on sponsorship. Losing beer sponsorship really hurts here. And I think it hurts more than we know. Smithfeild followed almirola from petty. Rumors had it that smithfeild will walk when almirola retires. Only real insiders know, of which im not one of those.
    So its not just the self sponsored 41, its the definite loss of the 4 sponsorship as well as potential loss of the10 sponsorship as well. Hey, I want preece to stay, but i cant be looking through rose colored glasses either.
    My only caveat card here, is did Berry get signed because a sponsor will jump on board after he signed? Part of the deal?
    One thing im in total agreement with you is, stewart haas has been for the most part , a dumpster fire this year. In the beginning of the season, I openly questioned if anyone thought that stewart haas has been an “elite” organization the past year or so. I had them somewhere between childress and rfk. Now, i really think rfk is on the verge of leapfrogging stewart haas…..jmo

  24. “Could you imagine $50 million just to sponsor a race car? Outrageous.”

    Red Bull F1 averages about $60M/yr ($300M for 5 years) for Oracle to sponsor a PANEL, not even the entire car. It is a worldwide series, but that’s insane.

  25. Suitcase Jake says

    Bobf, You were correct in your early observations, that SHR is not up to speed with the new cars, I thought they were right up there with the Top teams , but after watching closely this year, they are behind the Top teams.. I am hoping Ryan can jump on them at Martinsville and get that all important first Win ..I am thinking it’s a do or die race, hopefully he can get another full year in this new car ,..It’s horrible that they just don’t get the practice time like they used to get, Hard for young drivers to break in with less seat time,, They should give more practice time…All it takes is a young gun with Big Money behind them to grab a Cup Seat….in today’s Nascar…..well i guess it’s been like that for awhile now…Ryan had to bring money to get in Gibb’s cars to get a Win by betting on himself…hopefully he can win the SRX Race and get some good media attention and maybe grab a Sponsor for 24 …

  26. I concur suitcase.
    Ive said it before. He has talent, is a good shoe. But you have to have some luck to go along with that talent.
    I’m thinking we need to put a pool together to buy this guy a new horse shoe. Clearly, the one he has is broken……

  27. I was just reading an article on that Ryan is expecting to sign a contract with SHR for 2024. The interview was done at North Wilkesboro after a tire test for the Whelen Modified Tour. He sounded pretty confident that it will happen..

  28. I do believe Preece already may have that lucky horse shoe. Hoping this is taken in the spirit to which it is intended that being good natured ribbing but you were early on his exit from JTG by a year. If there’s any accuracy to the Jayski article you may just have done the trick again fingers crossed.
    I’d say just about everyone knows more about CUP then I. I’d like to think Preece is the indispensable guy in the shop and on the team. A Swiss Army knife contributing by any means necessary and the idea of a win to preserve his seat not necessarily accurate.

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