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NASCAR Cup Martinsville

Byron wins NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville in Hendrick 1-2-3

William Byron capped an emotional Hendrick Motorsports 40th anniversary weekend with an impressive overtime win in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Byron was the first lead lap car to make a green flag pit stop – uncharacteristic on the short track – in the middle of the final stage and when the cycle of stops was completed, he emerged as the leader for the first time in the race.

Byron soon built a big lead and appeared headed to uneventful victory when a wreck with two of the scheduled 500 laps to go brought out a caution and sent the race into overtime.

The top nine cars stayed on the track and after a brief battle with his HMS teammate Chase Elliott, Byron cleared for the lead on the restart and held on to beat teammate Kyle Larson to the checkered flag by 0.550 seconds.

 

"I just want to thank Chase [Elliott] for racing me clean there. Could get really physical at the end," Byron said. "He gave me a shot, which is expected. We all finish it off.

"Just so proud of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. Grew up a big Hendrick fan. To be here for the 40th anniversary, all that goes into just this organization, all the people, it's all about the people. Just want to thank Mr. Hendrick and (wife) Linda and everyone involved. It's pretty awesome.

"Bad ass to win at Martinsville. We've been struggling at the short tracks. Just kept inching up on it. I got a great team. They just kept my head in it. It stunk to do a restart there at the end like that, but that's the way it goes."

It was 40 years ago at the spring Martinsville race that Geoffrey Bodine won the first Cup race for team owner Rick Hendrick, which kept his fledgling organization in business and evolved into NASCAR’s most successful teams.

Hendrick, who was scheduled to drive the pace car, was forced to miss Sunday’s race due to recent knee replacement surgery.

The weekend could not have gone better for HMS as Larson won the pole for the race on Saturday and all four of the team’s drivers finished in the top eighth. Byron kicked off the 40th anniversary season for HMS with a victory in the season-opening Daytona 500.

The track has also been the site of tragedy for HMS.

A Hendrick plane crashed on the way to the track in 2004 and killed 10 people, including Hendrick’s son, brother and two nieces.

Elliott ended up third, Bubba Wallace was fourth and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five. The Hendrick 1-2-3 finish was the first for any organization at Martinsville.

Completing the top 10 were Joey Logano, Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, Ryan Preece and Chase Briscoe.

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Stage 1

Larson, who started on the pole, led all 80 laps and cruised to the Stage 1 win by 0.645 seconds over Wallace. Elliott was third, Briscoe fourth and Martin Truex Jr. ended up fifth.

Stage 2

After several bumps, Denny Hamlin worked his way around Logano for the lead with 11 of 100 laps to go and held off Wallace to take the Stage 2 win. Larson was third, Elliott fourth and Logano fell back to fifth.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all the lead lap cars pit with Hamlin the first off pit road. Blaney took two tires and gained 12 spots and Daniel Suarez had to restart from the rear of the field due to a pit road speeding penalty.

When the race resumed, Hamlin led Elliott and Wallace with 207 laps remaining. Elliott got around Hamlin off Turn 4 on the restart to take the lead for the first time.

Bell went around in Turn 4 again on lap 203 and several cars – including Truex – used the opportunity to pit. Elliott remained in the lead on the restart with 190 laps to go.

With 150 laps remaining, Elliott and Hamlin got in a side-by-side battle for the lead for several laps before Hamlin finally pulled away on lap 258.

Byron kicked off a round of green flag pit stops on lap 297 and Elliott followed him down the next lap. Josh Berry was penalized for an uncontrolled tire and had to serve a pass-through penalty.

Once the cycle of stops was completed, Byron had gotten around Hamlin and Elliott and emerged with the lead with 73 laps to go.

With 40 laps remaining, Byron maintained a more than 3-second advantage over his HMS teammates Elliott and Larson as Hamlin fell back to fourth.

Elliott began slowly cutting into Byron’s lead with 25 laps to go and cut the margin down to 1.8 seconds with 15 laps remaining.

John Hunter Nemechek lost a right-front tire and slammed into the Turns 3 and 4 wall with two laps to go which brought out a caution and sent the race into a two-lap overtime. Byron led Elliott and Larson on the restart.

CLA DRIVER # MANUFACTURER LAPS TIME INTERVAL PITS POINTS
1 W. ByronHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 24 Chevrolet 415

2:52'07.636

  5 46
2 K. LarsonHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 5 Chevrolet 415

+0.550

2:52'08.186

0.550 6 53
3 C. ElliottHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 9 Chevrolet 415

+0.790

2:52'08.426

0.240 6 49
4 B. Wallace23XI RACING 23 Toyota 415

+0.824

2:52'08.460

0.034 6 51
5 R. BlaneyTEAM PENSKE 12 Ford 415

+1.023

2:52'08.659

0.199 8 32
6 J. LoganoTEAM PENSKE 22 Ford 415

+1.070

2:52'08.706

0.047 6 42
7 T. Reddick23XI RACING 45 Toyota 415

+1.320

2:52'08.956

0.250 7 30
8 A. BowmanHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 48 Chevrolet 415

+1.433

2:52'09.069

0.113 6 34
9 R. PreeceSTEWART-HAAS RACING 41 Ford 415

+1.449

2:52'09.085

0.016 7 28
10 C. BriscoeSTEWART-HAAS RACING 14 Ford 415

+1.566

2:52'09.202

0.117 6 38
11 D. HamlinJOE GIBBS RACING 11 Toyota 415

+1.798

2:52'09.434

0.232 8 40
12 E. JonesLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 43 Toyota 415

+1.898

2:52'09.534

0.100 8 25
13 T. GillilandFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 38 Ford 415

+2.298

2:52'09.934

0.400 7 24
14 R. ChastainTRACKHOUSE RACING 1 Chevrolet 415

+8.601

2:52'16.237

6.303 7 25
15 C. BuescherRFK RACING 17 Ford 414

+1 Lap

2:52'09.942

1 Lap 7 22
16 K. BuschRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 8 Chevrolet 414

+1 Lap

2:52'10.057

0.115 7 22
17
C. HocevarSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
77 Chevrolet 414

+1 Lap

2:52'10.798

0.741 6 20
18 M. Truex JrJOE GIBBS RACING 19 Toyota 414

+1 Lap

2:52'11.162

0.364 8 25
19
T. GibbsJOE GIBBS RACING
54 Toyota 414

+1 Lap

2:52'11.523

0.361 8 18
20 N. GragsonSTEWART-HAAS RACING 10 Ford 414

+1 Lap

2:52'11.819

0.296 7 17
21 M. McDowellFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 34 Ford 414

+1 Lap

2:52'12.426

0.607 9 16
22 D. SuarezTRACKHOUSE RACING 99 Chevrolet 414

+1 Lap

2:52'13.023

0.597 9 15
23 A. CindricTEAM PENSKE 2 Ford 414

+1 Lap

2:52'14.235

1.212 6 14
24 B. KeselowskiRFK RACING 6 Ford 414

+1 Lap

2:52'15.475

1.240 8 13
25 J. BerrySTEWART-HAAS RACING 4 Ford 413

+2 Laps

2:52'10.284

1 Lap 7 15
26 K. GralaRICK WARE RACING 15 Ford 413

+2 Laps

2:52'10.753

0.469 7 11
27 J. WilliamsKAULIG RACING 16 Chevrolet 413

+2 Laps

2:52'13.132

2.379 8  
28 D. HemricKAULIG RACING 31 Chevrolet 413

+2 Laps

2:52'13.311

0.179 9 9
29 R. Stenhouse JrJTG DAUGHERTY RACING 47 Chevrolet 413

+2 Laps

2:52'15.883

2.572 8 8
30 J. HaleyRICK WARE RACING 51 Ford 413

+2 Laps

2:52'17.619

1.736 9 7
31
Z. SmithSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
71 Chevrolet 412

+3 Laps

2:52'09.646

1 Lap 8 6
32 C. LajoieSPIRE MOTORSPORTS 7 Chevrolet 412

+3 Laps

2:52'11.156

1.510 8 5
33 H. BurtonWOOD BROTHERS RACING 21 Ford 412

+3 Laps

2:52'13.606

2.450 8 4
34 A. DillonRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 3 Chevrolet 412

+3 Laps

2:52'14.544

0.938 8 3
35 C. BellJOE GIBBS RACING 20 Toyota 411

+4 Laps

2:52'16.719

1 Lap 9 2
36 J. NemechekLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 42 Toyota 396

+19 Laps

2:39'40.877

15 Laps 7 1
37 D. StarrPOWER SOURCE 66 Ford 311

+104 Laps

2:12'03.205

85 Laps 8

 

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