NASCAR at Martinsville live updates: Martin Truex Jr. wins as caution flags fly

Alex Andrejev
·20 min read

Note: Live updates on this story are complete. Full NASCAR race analysis and takeaways will be posted here.

NASCAR finished offits Cup race at Martinsville on Sunday after being washed out on Saturday night.

The Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 was 500 laps (263 miles) with stages ending on laps 130, 260 and, of course, 500. The race resumed on lap 43 with Denny Hamlin leading the field.

It ended with Hamlin in the Top 3, but not atop the podium. That was reserved got Martin Truex Jr.

Check back here for lap-by-lap updates from the track and follow NASCAR reporter on Twitter at @AndrejevAlex.

Race results

Pos.

Car No.

Driver

Time behind

Best time

Best speed

1

19

Martin Truex Jr.

--

20.107

94.176

2

9

Chase Elliott

1.972

20.071

94.345

3

11

Denny Hamlin

2.364

19.916

95.079

4

24

William Byron

4.984

19.996

94.699

5

5

Kyle Larson

6.229

20.355

93.029

6

22

Joey Logano

6.728

20.15

93.975

7

20

Christopher Bell

7.265

20.154

93.957

8

8

Tyler Reddick

7.593

20.427

92.701

9

4

Kevin Harvick

7.815

20.272

93.41

10

18

Kyle Busch

8.183

20.181

93.831

11

12

Ryan Blaney

9.585

20.081

94.298

12

21

Matt DiBenedetto

13.78

20.457

92.565

13

17

Chris Buescher

14.501

20.405

92.801

14

3

Austin Dillon

15.13

20.378

92.924

15

47

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

16.378

20.509

92.33

16

23

Bubba Wallace

17.377

20.323

93.175

17

42

Ross Chastain

17.678

20.274

93.4

18

41

Cole Custer

17.87

20.465

92.529

19

6

Ryan Newman

-1

20.474

92.488

20

10

Aric Almirola

-1

20.303

93.267

21

1

Kurt Busch

-2

20.345

93.074

22

15

James Davison

-6

20.505

92.348

23

52

Josh Bilicki

-7

20.635

91.766

24

0

Quin Houff

-7

20.829

90.912

25

53

JJ Yeley(i)

-8

20.674

91.593

26

38

Anthony Alfredo #

-8

20.542

92.182

27

14

Chase Briscoe #

-9

20.464

92.533

28

51

Cody Ware(i)

-10

20.627

91.802

29

78

BJ McLeod(i)

-22

20.61

91.878

30

43

Erik Jones

-97

20.508

92.335

31

34

Michael McDowell

-113

20.5

92.371

32

99

Daniel Suarez

-114

20.393

92.855

33

2

Brad Keselowski

-115

20.123

94.101

34

48

Alex Bowman

-116

20.348

93.061

35

77

Justin Haley(i)

-117

20.418

92.742

36

37

* Ryan Preece

-118

20.229

93.608

37

7

Corey LaJoie

-126

20.313

93.221

Stage 3

Lap 500, 8:02 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. uses a late pass of Denny Hamlin in lapped traffic to become the first two-time winner on the Cup Series circuit this season. Chase Elliott got a late pass to grab second, and Hamlin placed third. Byron, Larson, Logano, Bell, Reddick, Harvick, Kyle Busch round out the Top 10.

Lap 488, 7:58 p.m.: What a duel on the front row between Hamlin and Truex. Lapped cars used as a pick, and Truex to the lead. This is setting up to have our first two-time winner this season. Maybe. Chase Elliott hanging in third, and then a gap back to 4-5-6.

Lap 480, 7:56 p.m.: Truex has a better car than Hamlin right now, but Hamlin is holding him off ... for now. Chase Elliott biding his time in third, hoping the front two have a bauble. Meanwhile, Blaney into the Top 10 again.

Lap 475, 7:55 p.m.: The fact that Kyle Busch is sitting here in the Top 11 is a testament to how good a driver he is. He’s been all over the track and involved in a ton of wrecks, and yet here he is battling Ryan Newman for a Top 10. Blaney, meanwhile, back into 12th. He’s coming.

Lap 470, 7:52 p.m.: Hamlin beats Truex off the start and resumes his spot in front. Ryan Blaney slipped WAY back into the teens and more than 6 seconds back. Hamlin and Truex 1-2, and then a second back to Elliott in third.

Lap 456, 7:46 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. edged Denny Hamlin off pit road and will assume the top spot. Kyle Larson is in third, followed by Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, who lost three spots there in the pits.

Lap 454, 7:44 p.m.: Chase Briscoe is sparking and leaving a fun little trail all over the track and he brings out the caution again. This will again bunch the field as we are now under 50 to go at Martinsville. The train of cars to pit road i a long one

Lap 443, 7:40 p.m.: The more laps everyone turns, the more likely it is that the current top 3 — Hamlin, Blaney, Truex — will yield the winner, barring catastrophe. Only 19 cars on the lead lap at the moment, and positions 4-6 are all more than five seconds behind the three in front.

Lap 425, 7:33 p.m.: Finally, a long green-flag run, which has benefited Hamlin at the front. He and Blaney and Truex are three seconds clear of fourth place (Elliott). No one wants a long green run here more than those three. Also a note, Christopher Bell, on newer tires, is back up to fifth position.

Lap 405, 7:27 p.m.: Denny Hamlin remains clear in front of Ryan Blaney, but there’s still some serious three-wide action through the field. Martin Truex Jr. nearly spun, but remains in third.

Lap 392, 7:20 p.m.: Christopher Bell, William Byron down pit road for some tires. From here, most teams could go to the end if the green stays out. It’s a gamble as to whether we have long enough runs remaining.

Lap 388, 7:15 p.m.: Yellow flies as engines fire back up on the track. There are 27 cars left running, and three more on pit road being fixed, for what that’s worth. Denny Hamlin maintains the lead, with Christopher Bell in second. From there, it’s Blaney, Logano, Elliott and Truex, back to sixth position. Larson, Byron, Harvick, Wallace round out the top 10.

Lap 387, 6:54 p.m.: RED flag here as at least 15 cars have been affected by a crash after Kyle Busch and Chris Buescher got together on the back stretch and both turned sideways. Daniel Suarez’s car was aflame on the track, and Brad Keselowski is among the drivers with cars stopped in place on the track. This one’s going to take a while to mop up.

Lap 386, 6:51 p.m.: Unreal. Another caution. This is a bigger one, too, collecting multiple cars on the back stretch. It started back in Turns 1 and 2, and has a lot to do with Kyle Busch. Busch slid into the No. 17 and they both got sideways, which created a giant traffic jam. At LEAST 10 cars with serious cosmetic damage.

Lap 384, 6:50 p.m.: Ryan Blaney charges up the outside and gets back near the front, where he’s jostling with Joey Logano for third. Christopher bell led for a short time after the restart, but he was on older tires. Teammate Denny Hamlin has passed him to get the lead back.

Lap 378, 6:44 p.m.: Eric Jones spins and this is the field’s best friend right now as Denny Hamlin has to get reeled back in. That’s the seventh caution in the final stage so far, two shy of the final stage record at Martinsville.

Lap 364, 6:40 p.m.: An update without a caution! Ryan Newman was really clean on the restart, and has opened up a 1.4-second lead on Joey Logano and Alex Bowman. Ryan Blaney has made his way back to fourth position. That’s a good spot to be in for now, as long as Hamlin doesn’t get too far out in front.

Lap 352, 6:34 p.m.: It feels like every update here has been a caution. Because it has. Another yellow as Ryan Newman spins right after the most recent restart. Collected in this one is Aric Almirola, who got run into from behind by Daniel Suarez, again stacked up because of the Newman spin.

Lap 342, 6:26 p.m.: Ryan Blaney seems to be regaining speed and traction... and inching closer to the field. But... BUT... another caution. Brad Keselowski around in Turn 2 after getting nudged by Daniel Suarez.

Lap 335, 6:23 p.m.: And once again a yellow flag. This one has become a caution-fest as teams stay bunched on the short track. A handful of teams feel like they can win this one right now, and things are getting aggressive all over the field.

Lap 327, 6:18 p.m.: Denny Hamlin a full second better than William Byron on the pit stop, and he’s now in front as we get back to green flag racing.

Lap 323, 6:15 p.m.: We have another caution as Kyle Busch spins, but no major damage outwardly to anyone, and he didn’t collect anyone into his spin. Nor did he touch the wall. He also managed to stay on the lead lap, so DiBenedetto will get the free pass. Some cars to the puts, including previous leader Bubba Wallace.

Lap 318, 6:11 p.m.: Bubba Wallace led more laps today than he ever had, but now William Byron has taken the lead. Byron is the fifth different leader today. Byron climbed through the top 10 after that last restart. Meanwhile, Blaney is reporting high temps readings.

Lap 304, 6:07 p.m.: Three-wide racing for a few laps here as the logjam at the front is tremendous. Denny hamlin has worked his way back to sixth after pitting, while Bubba Wallace hangs on in front. Ryan Newman is in second place.

Lap 290, 5:58 p.m.: Our eighth caution flies and we see another bit of pit strategy, where teams are going to have to decide what they’re doing on tires. Those leaders who didn’t pit the last time, including Denny Hamlin, are in the pits.

Stage 2

Lap 260, 5:41 p.m.: Ryan Blaney takes another green-and-white checkered flag after the caution, sweeping both stages following the shootout. Denny Hamlin finishes in second, but races Blaney side-by-side through the flag. Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch follow in the top-10.

After the stage, a split strategy unfolds with Blaney pitting and Hamlin staying out. Brad Keselowski and William Byron also stay out to restart up front, while Blaney, Truex, Elliott, Bowman and Kyle Busch emerge first of the lead drivers who pitted.

Lap 250, 5:35 p.m.: Another yellow flag flies for an incident between Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Newman. DiBenedetto’s tire is down and the No. 21 car has damage to his fender. The No. 6 car driven by Newman also has damage up front. DiBenedetto’s team says on the radio that the car isn’t smoking but it’s “not great” after taking a saw to the front of the car on pit road.

Lap 241, 5:26 p.m.: The caution flag comes out for a spin in Turn 3 by Cody Ware, who has a blown tire. Joey Logano catches a break just before going a lap down, but he will remain on the lead lap. But he will restart at the back of the field due to a speeding penalty. The restart order is Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch.

Lap 225, 5:20 p.m.: There have been no cautions for incident yet in this stage, as drivers try to preserve their tires and fuel, and aim to stay ahead of Ryan Blaney in the lead as he cuts through the field. The only caution so far today that was unscheduled was for Kurt Busch’s spin on Lap 50. Bubba Wallace, in 23rd, is running two laps down and says his car is “f---ing terrible.”

Lap 212, 5:15 p.m.: Ryan Blaney gets by Erik Jones in 20th. Denny Hamlin in second is now 2.5 seconds behind the leader.

Lap 190, 5:08 p.m.: Ryan Blaney leads Denny Hamlin by 1.3 seconds and is again passing cars to put them laps down. Blaney moves by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to put him a lap down. Erik Jones in 20th is now the last car on the lead lap.

Lap 175, 5:03 p.m.: Ryan Blaney gets his lead back, running side-by-side with Denny Hamlin, until he’s able to go low and again swipe the top spot. So far, it’s been those two drivers challenging each other for the lead. Besides the leaders, all four of Hendrick Motorsports’ cars are running in the top-10, with Alex Bowman in fourth, Kyle Larson in fifth, Chase Elliott in seventh and William Byron in 10th.

Lap 160, 4:58 p.m.: Veterans are flexing their muscles here with bumps and shoves. Brad Keselowski taps William Byron before Bryon falls to ninth and Keselowski makes his pass, and also slips by Chase Elliott for the seventh place spot. Kevin Harvick also moves Bubba Wallace further back in the field. Harvick is running in 19th.

Lap 142, 4:49 p.m.: Denny Hamlin moves ahead of Ryan Blaney after the restart, driving the high line. Kyle Larson, who started behind Hamlin on the outside shakes out to sixth, while Chase Elliott, who re-started in second row behind Blaney, falls to 10th. The order is Hamlin, Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell and Elliott.

Stage 1

Lap 130, 4:42 p.m.: Ryan Blaney runs away with Stage 1, leading Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Christopher Bell in the top-10 at the break. Twenty-two cars finished on the lead lap, and Daniel Suárez gets a lap back after going two laps down by passing Blaney just before the stage ends.

Lap 115, 4:36 p.m.: There are 15 cars a lap down as leader Ryan Blaney works through the field. He’s up by two seconds over Denny Hamlin. Among drivers Blaney has passed are Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Michael McDowell, Bubba Wallace, Chase Briscoe and Cole Custer. He’s only a few seconds back from catching up with Stewart-Haas drivers Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick.

Lap 98, 4:30 p.m.: The leaders are working through heavy traffic as the running order remains Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott. Behind him, Kyle Larson has moved past Joey Logano for fifth and is attempting to drive up to Elliott.

Lap 76, 4:24 p.m.: Ryan Blaney takes the top spot from Denny Hamlin after dipping low. Hamlin didn’t want to relent, but Blaney works by him coming to the start/finish entering the 76th lap. Meanwhile, Daniel Suárez has driven into the top-20. By Lap 85, however, Suárez pits citing vibration and makes an unplanned pit stop, saying the “wheel was loose.” He’s now trapped two laps down.

Lap 59, 4:17 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. drives below Chase Elliott to take the third place spot as Joey Logano tries to catch up to Elliott, and behind him, it’s William Byron and Kyle Larson, with Brad Keselowski tapping Larson’s bumper.

Lap 50, 4:11 p.m.: The caution comes out early (second in the race after yesterday) for Kurt Busch going for a spin in Turn 4. He appeared to make contact with Erik Jones, who got into the left rear of Busch. Hamlin is still leading, and has chosen the inside lane for the restart. He lines up with Ryan Blaney in second. Chase Elliott takes the third place spot behind Hamlin.

Pre-race

4 p.m.: Drivers are in their cars and introductions are complete at the speedway. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, Chase Elliott, receives the loudest cheers from the stands. Elliott won the last race at Martinsville in the fall to help him clinch a spot in the championship race, which Elliott won last season. He is re-starting in fifth, behind Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr.

Restart order for NASCAR race at Martinsville

Order

Driver

Car No.

1.

Denny Hamlin

11

2.

Joey Logano

22

3.

Ryan Blaney

12

4.

Martin Truex Jr.

19

5.

Chase Elliott

9

6.

William Byron

24

7.

Brad Keselowski

2

8.

Kyle Busch

18

9.

Kevin Harvick

4

10.

Kyle Larson

5

11.

Ryan Preece

37

12.

Alex Bowman

48

13.

Austin Dillon

3

14.

Chris Buescher

17

15.

Matt DiBenedetto

21

16.

Erik Jones

43

17.

Bubba Wallace

23

18.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

47

19.

Kurt Busch

1

20.

Ryan Newman

6

21.

Aric Almirola

10

22.

Christopher Bell

20

23.

Tyler Reddick

8

24.

Ross Chastain

42

25.

Daniel Suárez

99

26.

Cole Custer

41

27.

Chase Briscoe

14

28.

Michael McDowell

34

29.

Corey LaJoie

7

30.

Anthony Alfredo

38

31.

Justin Haley

77

32.

JJ Yeley

53

33.

BJ McLeod

78

34.

Josh Bilicki

52

35.

Cody Ware

51

36.

Quin Houff

0

37.

James Davison

15

No competition caution for Cup race

There will be no competition caution during today’s race given the restart. The competition caution was previously set for Lap 60, but teams will be allowed to top off their cars with fuel when done with a warmup in the garages. The first scheduled caution will come on Lap 130 for the first stage break.

JR Motorsports driver Josh Berry wins Xfinity race

Josh Berry won Sunday’s Xfinity Series race, the Cook Out 250, after leading 95 laps. Berry’s JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson finished second and Joe Gibbs Racing Daniel Hemric finished third.

Berry took his first checkered flag in 13 races in the Xfinity Series driving the No. 8 Chevrolet. He’s raced in select short-track events, primarily for JR Motorsports since 2014 and is entering more events for the team this year. Hemric said he saw it as a “pretty cool” opportunity for Berry to take the checkered flag Sunday after a lack of funding prevented. Berry called it “unbelievable.”

Josh Berry (8) and Noah Gragson, left, drive into turn turn two during start of the rain delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va., Sunday, April 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Josh Berry (8) and Noah Gragson, left, drive into turn turn two during start of the rain delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va., Sunday, April 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

“I wanted to win so bad for these guys, they’re such a good group,” Berry said of his team on FS1 after the race. “I knew this would be a good opportunity to win.”

Gragson also expressed his respect for Berry after the race, saying he viewed him like a big brother figure. He won a $100,000 bonus in prize money as part of the series’ Dash 4 Cash event, which included three other drivers A.J. Allmendinger, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier, who qualified for the competition after the race at Atlanta. He said post-race that he planned to give the money to his No. 9 Chevrolet team.

“With COVID and stuff it’s challenging for everyone,” Gragson said. “The least I can do is pay them back for everything they do.”

Gragson also mentioned that there were “no hard feelings” between him and Hemric, who exchanged punches on pit road at Atlanta after the last race. The two drivers raced each other cleanly, but another fight between competitors broke out on pit road this weekend between Joe Graf Jr. and Gray Gaulding.

Graf Jr. told SiriusXM after the race that he spoke with Gaulding after “just wrecked us” and that there was “no understanding” when Graf Jr. spoke with him about it. Gaulding later affirmed in an interview with SiriusXM that he “100 percent, flat-out wrecked him.”

“I won’t be raced like that,” said Graf Jr., who finished 38th.

Gaulding, who finished 21st, said that he’d “do it all over again.”

The main focus post-Martinsville, however, was in the Victory Lane with Berry, who has continuously struggled to piece together a full season of racing due to a lack of funding. He did not enter the Daytona road course race this year, which means he will not be eligible for the driver championship, but JRM’s No. 8 car will be eligible for the owners playoff and championship.

Team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted after the race that it’s, “Been a long time since I cried so hard. It’s great to see my friend @joshberry live his dream.” He told reporters that the win was one of the most emotional moments in racing he’s ever experienced because of his deep investment in Berry’s career.

“I just wanted this so bad for Josh,” Earnhardt Jr. said.

He also mentioned that he and his sister, JRM team co-owner Kelley Earnhardt Miller, have had discussions about the organization potentially entering the Cup Series with the Next Gen car coming to the sport, but Earnhardt Jr. tempered the comment by saying that there is not yet a significant sponsor willing to make the commitment. He said his main focus is on finding Berry a full-time ride in the Xfinity Series, which could be made easier after Sunday’s win.

The Cook Out 250 was postponed to Sunday due to rain after the series raced 91 laps on Friday night, but Sunday’s event was completed under brighter skies and with sun in the forecast for the remainder of the day for the upcoming Cup race at 4 p.m. on FS1.

Order

Driver

Car No.

Time after leader (sec)

1

Josh Berry

8

--

2

Noah Gragson

9

0.59

3

Daniel Hemric

18

0.768

4

Ty Gibbs

54

2.035

5

Brandon Jones

19

2.249

6

Austin Cindric

22

3.95

7

Harrison Burton

20

7.49

8

Justin Haley

11

7.919

9

Justin Allgaier

7

8.062

10

Michael Annett

1

8.23

11

Jeb Burton

10

9.099

12

Brett Moffitt

2

9.677

13

AJ Allmendinger

16

10.572

14

Jeremy Clements

51

11.682

15

Myatt Snider

2

12.236

16

Josh Williams

92

14.327

17

Brandon Gdovic

26

18.578

18

George Gorham Jr.

90

21.182

19

Jade Buford

48

21.21

20

Stefan Parsons

99

-1 laps

21

Gray Gaulding

52

-1

22

David Starr

61

-1

23

Ryan Sieg

39

-1

24

JJ Yeley

17

-1

25

Kyle Weatherman

47

-1

26

Bayley Currey

74

-1

27

Brandon Brown

68

-2

28

Matt Jaskol

13

-2

29

Riley Herbst

98

-2

30

Timmy Hill

66

-2

31

Alex Labbe

36

-2

32

Jesse Little

78

-5

33

Matt Mills

5

-9

34

Tommy Joe Martins

44

-19

35

Blaine Perkins

23

-24

36

Jeffrey Earnhardt

0

-37

37

Landon Cassill

4

-53

38

Joe Graf Jr.

7

-71

39

Colby Howard

15

-97

40

Ryan Vargas

6

-153