Martin Truex Jr. beamed bright in the NASCAR Cup Series’ first nighttime race at Martinsville Speedway, surging late Wednesday night for his first win of the season.
Truex’s Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota led 132 of the 500 laps, including the final 131 to capture the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. His second straight victory at the .526-mile Virginia track was the 27th of his Cup Series career, plus his first with new crew chief James Small.
Ryan Blaney recovered from a pit-road penalty in the final stage and sealed second place, just ahead of Team Penske mates Brad Keselowski in third and Joey Logano in fourth. Logano had led a race-high 234 laps before his slight late fade. Chase Elliott finished out the top five.
Jimmie Johnson led 70 laps and won Stage 2 in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet, but his career-worst winless streak stretched to 106 races at one of his best tracks. He placed 10th.
Austin Dillon exited his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet after completing 399 laps, and with no relief driver available, the team retired in 37th place. The team’s radio communications indicated to team owner Richard Childress that Dillon was awake and alert, but appeared overheated. His car had sustained damage in an early collision that forced the first caution period on Lap 4.
Bubba Wallace finished among the top 10 in both stages, sporting a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme on his Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Chevrolet. He slipped to an 11th-place finish just behind Johnson, but shared pre-race the importance of the event, held just hours after NASCAR banned the confederate flag from its tracks and properties — a change that he’d suggested earlier in the week.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
Well after one of our players was riding with the race winner on Sunday afternoon, it was not the case for the night race at Martinsville. So the midweek award will retreat to the closet until Sunday afternoon when the results from the Homestead race will be tabulated.
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
The biggest scorer for the Martinsville race is our 1st segment leader, Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head. The end of the race saw her racking up 45 points from Mr. Seven-Time, Jimmie Johnson’s, stage 2 win and 10th place race finish.
Snoopy Dawn and Leon Your Benevolent and Most Humble Sheriff were riding high Team Penske’s YRB. The reward for their loyalty to Young Ryan Blaney was a very tidy 44 points added to their 1st segment totals.
Meanwhile, Jim, aka Chiefy, and Linda The Cookie Mom added a much needed 34 points Wednesday. Although they both received the same number of points, they were backing two different drivers. Chiefy was putting all his support in the hot rod of “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski, while Linda The Cookie Mom was rooting very loudly for the driver formally known as “The Outlaw”, but wants to be known by his given name, Kurt Busch.
Jeremy The Coach is making a run from obscurity to towards mediocrity in segment one! With his 29 points scored at Martinsville it has kept in the middle of the pack with still a few races remaining.
Lastly, Dan The Numbers Cruncher made his bid to remain in the hunt for some Fantasy money at the end of the 1st segment. The Numbers Dude deposited 25 points into his bucket Wednesday.
The Martinsville race saw that there are two ways of looking at the movement within the fantasy league. Either your view is that half of the players remained in place, or that half of the players traded zip codes, your choice.
The biggest mover this race is Your Benevolent and Most Humble Sheriff. The Sheriff rocketed up three (3) positions, and is making a run of some of that fantasy league money and now sits in 3rd place.
Both Edie The Las Vegas Super Star and Bernie The Bay Area Bandit moved two (2) places. However, their movement was to the negative side this week, each falling two places to now own the 5th and 10th spots, respectively.
Lastly, three players, Carlton The Doorman, Linda The Cookie Mom, as well as Carole, aka Rudy, just moved one spot. The Cookie Mom and Rudy each stepped up one place to rest in 8th and 9th, respectively. However, The Doorman slipped one spot and sits in 6th place this evening.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
The Crappiest Pick of The Week goes the Bernie The Bay Area Bandit. La Bandita was only able to muster up a microscopic 9 points at Martinsville. For that results she owns, single handedly, this prestigious award for the remaining part of the week.
For the third race ol Chiefy is still be stuck in The Outhouse! But have no fear, La Bandita is just two (2) critical points away from moving in as a roommate for ol Chiefy! Rumor has it that she makes a mean pasta dish! So the eating could be really good in the neighborhood! I’m just sayin’……
NASCAR is quick-turning their haulers once they return from Martinsville this evening to head down to South Beach and Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT AND LET’S GO RACIN’!