Martin Truex Jr. will race for his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. His win Sunday at Martinsville Speedway in the Round of 8 opener ensured it.
Truex Jr. topped 450 laps led and steadily maintained the point throughout the majority of the race, his blistering pit stops keeping him up front following on-track incidents, and his steady hand allowing the No. 19 Toyota to pull away from the field on restarts.
The win had to be extra sweet for Truex Jr., the 2017 series champion driving in his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing, considering how he finished here last October — getting moved by Joey Logano on the final turn of the final lap.
Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron stalked Truex Jr. over the final laps before ultimately settling for second. Brad Keselowski took third, with NASCAR Playoffs drivers Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five.
Meanwhile, Chase Elliott’s exceptional start to Sunday’s race was undone by an apparent broken axle in his No. 9 Chevrolet. Elliott qualified second for Sunday’s race at the .526-mile track, but started at the rear of the field after the team swapped an engine Saturday. He drove his way through the field in impressive fashion, earning three stage points in Stage 1 by finishing eighth and clawing his way into the top five before the issue.
Elliott finished 36th of 38 drivers.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
This week we have two players who used their Martin Truex, Jr. card when they got the most bang for their buck! Both Jeremy The Coach and Carole, aka Rudy, get to share this weekly award. Because Truex won both stages and the race, The Coach and Rudy racked up a max point race, 60 cool ones!
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
Lonna The Quilt Angel and Bernie The Bay Area Bandit rallied together to fully support YRB this week. Both were really hoping that the Team Penske driver, Young Ryan Blaney, could have driven his hot rod into the makeshift Victory lane at Martinsville Sunday night. That did not happen, but nonetheless, Blaney had a big race finishing 5th, and delivering 48 points to these ladies..
Meanwhile, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star performed quite nicely this weekend. The Vegas Super Star was riding shotgun with one of the after race combatants, The Delivernator. Early in the race it appeared that Denny Hamlin might have a strong horse and be factor for the win. Hamlin did not win the race, however, but he did secure a 4th place finish at the end of the day, which delivered 45 points to The Super Star.
Linda B. The Cookie Mom and Kathy The Church Forecloser performed quite admirably this weekend. Both players were betting the farm on Blazingly Bad Brad Keselowski this week. Kes rallied late in the race after several restarts to get himself near the front of the pack to finish third and deliver 35 points to these ladies.
Rounding out the top five scorers for this week is David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey. The Throttle Jockey was riding shotgun with the driver formally known as The Outlaw. This week Kurt Busch finished sixth, and with that finish deposited 31 points into the bucket of our resident midget chauffeur
Only three players remained in their previous positions, our leader Snoopy Dawn, Linda B. The Cookie Mom, and Carole, aka Rudy.
Four players, Linda R. The Lemonade Lefty, Kathy The Church Forecloser, Lonna The Quilt Angel, and Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head moved four (4) places this week. The Church Forecloser and The Quilt Angel stepped up their game and climbed up on the leaderboard four places to land in 8th and 10th places, respectively. Whereas The Lemonade Lefty and The Cheddar Head dropped like a hot potato to sit in 6th and 14th, respectively.
This trio consisting of Bobby Blue Crush, Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff, and Dan The Numbers Cruncher moved a total of three (3) places when the checkered flag flew at Martinsville. Blue Crush maneuvered his way up three spots to sit in 5th position. Conversely, Your Most Humble Sheriff and The Numbers Dude plummeted three places to rest in 7th and 12th, respectively.
Lastly, there were six players, one third of the fantasy league, joined forces to move just two (2) positions on the scoring pylon this week. Jeremy The Coach, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, Carlton The Doorman, David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey, as well as Jim, aka Chiefy, made the short transition to another address on the leaderboard. The Coach, The Bay Area Bandit, The Vegas Super Star, and The Mudslinger all moved up two places to sit in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 11th places, respectively. But The Doorman and Chiefy fell two spots to now own 9th and 13th, respectively.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
It has been a while since Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head won The Crappiest Pick of The Week award. But this week she has made a return visit to capture this coveted award by scoring four (4) myopic points this week!
Carole, aka Rudy, is still comfortably tucked into The Outhouse this week, I believe that her redecoration period is just about complete. However, she (Rudy) does not have the huge margin she has maintained over the last couple of weeks. It seems that Linda B. The Cookie Mom is making a run to evict Rudy before the end of this segment. There are only 15 points at this writing that separates these two ladies from immortality!
Next week NASCAR rolls into The Texas Motor Speedway,
A half-a-minute post-race discussion between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano was civilized, at least for the first 29 seconds. But it was the last-second ending that touched off the latest chapter in their off-and-on rivalry Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
The two drivers had a pointed but relatively calm talk after Sunday’s First Data 500, attempting to sort out the late-race contact that caused a tire rub and eventually a spin for Logano’s Team Penske No. 22 Ford. The difference of opinion seemed to reach a stalemate until Logano added a chat-ending smack to Hamlin’s right shoulder.
Hamlin took exception, lunging toward the retreating Logano as crewmembers interceded. Both expressed their intent to fight it out before cooling off.
Eight drivers, three races, one championship, who will be the last man standing?
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT AND LET’S GO RACIN’!