Repeat Winner of 2021? YES!
The seven races so far in 2021 have resulted in seven different winners. However, that streak ended Sunday as Martin Truex Jr. took the checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway for his second win of 2021. Truex Jr. took the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 win, passing his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin late in the race for the win.
The race, which was scheduled to run Saturday night under the lights, was delayed due to inclement weather. While the race did begin Saturday night, only 42 laps were run until the rain began to fall. The win is the third in the last four trips to Martinsville Speedway for Martin Truex Jr. With his third grandfather clock in his possession, Truex now has 29 career Cup Series wins.
While Martin Truex Jr. took the win Sunday, Chase Elliott finished in second. Denny Hamlin, after leading a race high 276 laps, finished in third. William Byron and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five finishing in fourth and fifth. Bristol dirt winner Joey Logano finished in sixth, while Christopher Bell finished behind him in seventh. Tyler Reddick, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch rounded out the top ten finishing eighth, ninth and tenth.
While Ryan Blaney claimed checkered flag in the first two stages, a late race penalty derailed his chances of taking him his second win of the 2021 season. Pitting late in the final stage, Blaney made a race changing mistake. As Blaney left his pit box, the left front tire caught on the air gun used to change the tire. Blaney then dragged the gun and hose out of his pit box. The resulting miscue meant that Blaney would have to serve a stop and go penalty, ending his chances of winning. He would rally to finish just outside the top ten in 11th.
What’s Next for the NASCAR Cup Series?
The next round of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season will take place at Richmond Raceway. Fans can catch all of the short track racing action on Sunday, April 18th at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
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