The reigning East Series champion won his first race of the season in the New England 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday. He extended his lead in the East Series standings. He joined his dad, Martin Truex Sr., and his older brother, Martin Truex Jr., as East Series winners at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Ryan Truex won his first race of the season in the New England 125
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Driver Ryan Truex
But maybe most importantly, Ryan Truex made up for a last-lap loss at New Hampshire last year.
Ryan Truex led a race-high 66 laps, taking over on lap 60 and never surrendering it in Saturday's race. He survived four caution periods while in the lead. There was a four-car crash on lap 90 that took out Mackena Bell, Jason Patison and Matt Frahm.
Ryan Truex said maintaining his lead on restarts was key to winning the race.
The next NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race is at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on July 3
"I've struggled a lot over the past year and half on restarts," said Ryan Truex, driver of the No. 00 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. "I was joking over the radio, I told them I finally figured out how to get a restart done and it only took a year and a half. It's just a matter of getting the right jump on everyone and keeping it out front. Once we got out in that clean air, we just set sail and they had nothing for us."
Ryan Truex posted his fourth top-five finish in five East Series races in 2010. It was also his first career East Series win at New Hampshire and the fourth of his East Series career.
"I'm just happy to get a win here, this feels like the Daytona 500 for me," Truex said. "I think this is the biggest race of the year. You're in front of the (NASCAR Sprint) Cup Series guys, and you can show off your talents and abilities to them."
His brother, Martin Truex Jr., is a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and his dad, Martin Truex Sr., raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the old Busch North Series.
"It's just awesome, so special to win at such a historic race track," Ryan Truex said. "The East Series has been here so long and had so many great winners. I'm just happy to add myself to the list."
Ryan Truex lost to Matt DiBenedetto last year at New Hampshire when he was passed on the final lap of a green-white-checkered flag finish. Ryan Truex had the lead for the green and white checker flag, but DiBenedetto got around him on the final lap. Ryan Truex finished second.
"I felt like we kind of got one stolen away from us last year," Ryan Truex said. "Pretty frustrated about that. To come back this year and dominate like we did, once we got out front, we never gave it up."
Rookie Kevin Swindell finished second, posting a career-best finish in the East Series and his first top-five of the season.
"We didn't qualify as well as we thought we would after as good as a mock lap as we had. The rain messed us up a little bit," said Swindell, driver of the No. 9 Curb Records/Nos Energy Drink Chevrolet. "Mangaged to get a couple spots in the pits. It was just a matter of trying to race with that 00. I was just too tight behind cars to really make a run at him."
Rookie Darrell Wallace Jr. was third. He was making his East Series debut at New Hampshire. His car blew an engine in practice and he had to start the race at the rear because his team had to replace the engine.
"It's been a rough two days for us," Wallace said after the race on Saturday. "First time at the track. I didn't really how to get around here. Still kinda clueless going into the race. We just had to wing it for the first 50 laps or so until I finally started getting a line down. Once it came in, we were fast."
Pole winner Brett Moffitt led the first two laps of the race and another 37 more from laps 32 to 59. He fell back late in the race and finished fifth.
Ryan Truex extended his lead in the East Series standings to 33 points over Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Chevrolet for Revolution Racing.
The next East Series race is a road course race at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on July 3.
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