MARTINSVILLE VA- Jimmie Johnson scored his ninth Martinsville Speedway win Sunday. He took control late and survived a late race charge to score the79th win of his career, and his fourth of the season. Here’s how it all went down at Martinsville Sunday.
With his first career Martinsville pole, Martin Truex Jr. led the field to the green. Joey Logano started second on the front row, followed by Jimmie Johnson, AJ Allmendinger and Chase Elliott.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (backup car after crash in qualifying) and Ryan Blaney (unapproved adjustments) went to the back of the field.
Truex took the lead on the inside, Logano fell in behind him. By lap 4, the top 15 were single file; Truex, Logano, Johnson, Allmendinger and Elliott were the top five.
The lead for Truex was just over a half a second by lap 11. He caught the back of the field by lap 21, just as the first caution came out for a spin in turn 3 and 4 for Stenhouse. The car sustained heavy damage but he was able to make it to the pits.
The pits opened and it was a mix of cars pitting with Truex, Allmendinger, and others pitting, while Logano, Johnson, Elliott, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon were among those who stayed out. Deny Hamlin and Carl Edwards were both penalized for speeding.
Green came out on lap 28; Logano led, Johnson was second; Truex restarted eighth. Logano led. Stewart jumped to second on the outside, Johnson settled into third. Elliott was fourth until lap 31, when Truex charged by for the spot; Kyle Larson followed for fifth.
Johnson took over second on lap 36, Truex got by Stewart a lap later for third. Larson was looking for fourth from Stewart on lap 37; he had it just after the start of lap 38. By lap 40, Stewart was seventh; Truex took second on the same lap.
Truex had caught Logano and was looking for the lead by lap 44; Truex took the lead entering turn 1 on lap 45.
Larson took third from Johnson on lap 49. Caught on the outside, Johnson began dropping back; he was seventh by lap 54. Kyle Busch had moved into fourth, Allmendinger fifth.
Kyle Busch took third on lap 57. Truex had caught the back of the field; caution two came out on lap 60 for the car of David Ragan which was putting down fluid.
This time the leaders all pitted.
Truex was out first followed by Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Logano and Ryan Newman, all had taken 4 tires.
Green came out on lap 65.
Truex took the lead on the outside, Kyle Busch held onto second, Larson charged forward and took third, then on lap 68, Larson bumped Kyle Busch and took second. He was soon looking for the lead. Kyle Busch was third, Allmendinger forth, and Kevin Harvick fifth.
Larson dove on the inside entering turn 3 on lap 73 and took the lead. Truex stayed close as Kyle Busch lurked in third not far behind. Harvick had worked up to fourth by lap 78. Truex retook the lead on lap 79 exiting turn 4.
Kyle Busch took second on lap 85. Harvick was soon looking for third from Larson.
Matt Kenseth went to fifth on lap 92.
In lapped traffic, Kyle Busch was on the bumper of Truex by lap 98. Harvick finally took third on lap 102 as they entered turn 1. There was a gap of just over 2 seconds to the lead from third.
Kenseth shot past Harvick for third on lap 106. Larson had fallen back to 9th.
Kyle Busch took the lead on lap 110 exiting turn 4. A lap later, Busch slowed on the frontstretch and allowed Truex back to the lead.
Kenseth was catching Kyle Busch by lap 124.
Kyle Busch was defending his spot from Kenseth by lap 128 and Truex stretched out his lead in traffic.
Caution four came out on lap 132 for debris after several cars deeper in the field hat scrapped the wall.
The leaders all pitted.
Truex was out first, Kyle Busch second followed by, Kenseth, Harvick and Logano. Harvick was penalized for speeding and sent out the rear of the field.
Green came out on lap 139. Truex shot to the lead, Kyle Busch took second; Logano and Kenseth were side by side for third, Kenseth had third by lap 140. Allmendinger was fifth behind Logano.
Kenseth took second entering turn 1 on lap 144. He had reeled in Truex was and was looking for the lead by lap 149; he took the lead entering turn 3 on lap 150. A lap later, Kenseth slowed on the frontstretch and let Truex back by.
The lead was still under a half a second by lap 170. Kenseth retook the lead on lap 180 exiting turn 4. Kyle Busch took second from Truex on lap 183. Logano took third on lap 192. Johnson and Hamlin were beating and banging fir sixth place, and on lap 198 Hamlin bumped Johnson out of the way and took the spot. Johnson’s car had slight damage to the right rear.
Caution five came out on lap 199 for debris (banner coming loose on the wall on the backstretch). The leaders all pitted, Kenseth was out first, Kyle Busch second followed by Truex, Logano and Hamlin.
Green came out on lap 207; Kenseth led into turn 1, Kyle Busch and Logano were side by side behind with Busch getting second by lap 209, Truex fought his was up to third; Hamlin, who had been penalized for speeding earlier was fourth, Allmendinger fifth.
Jeff Gordon was fifth by lap 213.
Hamlin had moved to third in front of Truex by lap 230. Gordon went to fourth on lap 239. Hamlin went to second on lap 242.
At the halfway point the top 10: Kenseth, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Gordon, Truex, Allmendinger, Logano, Austin Dillon Carl Edwards, and Brad Keselowski.
Chase contender Kurt Busch went a lap down on lap 262 he was 23rd. Kyle Busch retook second on lap 270. Harvick, 20 seconds off the lead was the next Chase contender in danger of going a lap down.
Leader Kenseth put Harvick a lap down on lap 283 as behind Hamlin took second from Kyle Busch. Kurt Busch went a second lap down on lap 322. There were 15 cars on the lead lap.
Green flag stops began deeper in the field by lap 354; on the track Truex was looking for fourth from Gordon. Gordon, Logano, and Truex pitted on lap 355, Kenseth and others pitted a lap later; caution five came out on lap 357 for Edwards who had a flat tire and made heave contact with the turn 1 wall. He made it back to pit road, and was soon in the garage.
Johnson, Allmendinger and several others had yet to pit. Both Johnson and Allmendinger slowed apparently out of fuel. Johnson was able to go on, but pit road was closed. Allmendinger did pit and was penalized, but Johnson stayed out. When pit road opened Johnson finally pitted as did McMurray.
On the track, Hamlin was scored as the leader. There were a total of 21 wave around cars that got a lap back.
After an aborted start, twice, NASCAR took time while trying to figure out the restart lineup, 28 laps under caution. The green finally came out on lap 386 Hamlin led, Kyle Busch second, Johnson third, McMurray fourth. Hamlin took the lead, Kyle Busch second; McMurray took third for a lap until Johnson was able to wrest it back.
Johnson soon had second in his sights and took the spot on lap 391. McMurray went to third on lap 392. Kyle Busch was fourth, Kenseth fifth. Kenseth took fifth on 398.
Johnson was running up to the back of Hamlin by lap 403 and was looking for the lead. They were side by side on lap 407, Hamlin on the inside, Johnson on the outside. Johnson was able to clear Hamlin and take the lead on lap 409. Kenseth was third, Kyle Busch fourth, McMurray fifth. There were just ten cars on the lead lap.
Truex moved into fifth on lap 420.
The lead for Johnson was up to 1.2 seconds by lap 429. The three JGR cars were nose to tail by lap 435. The lead for Johnson was up to just under 2 seconds by lap 443.
Brad Keselowski took fifth on lap 454; he took fourth on lap 464. He was fighting Hamlin on the outside for third and had the spot on lap 471. The lead was 2.5 seconds up front. Keselowski was looking for second by lap 475; he had the spot on lap 476. Hamlin, Kenseth and Busch dueled for 3-4-5.
With 19 laps to go, the lead was 2.5 seconds for Johnson. The gap was just over 2 seconds with 5 laps to go. With 3 laps to go, Johnson was in heavy traffic, but Keselowski ran out of laps and Johnson scored his ninth Martinsville win.
Keselowski, Hamlin was third, followed by Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Gordon came home sixth, Truex seventh, with McMurray, Logano and Allmendinger rounding out the top 10. The full results can be found here, the updated points here.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500 next Sunday. Live coverage will be on NBC at 2:00 p.m. ET.