Truex holds on to win rain-delayed Martinsville NASCAR Cup race

Martin Truex Jr became NASCAR’s first multiple race winner of 2021 in a rain-delayed Martinsville event that was postponed from Saturday.

Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro
Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro
Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro

Only 42 of 500 laps were completed on Saturday night before the remainder of the postponed Cup race was run on Sunday afternoon.

But a late-race red flag for a multiple-car wreck pushed the race into the night and it was then that Truex’s Toyota came to life.

Truex caught his Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Denny Hamlin – who dominated much of the race – and passed him with 15 laps to go, before holding off a late charge from Chase Elliott to secure his second win of the 2021 season.

The win is the 29th of his career and three of his four most recent Cup wins have come at Martinsville. Hamlin, who led 276 laps, held on to take third place, ahead of William Byron in fourth as Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five.

Joey Logano – previous winner at NASCAR’s first dirt race in over 50 years at Bristol Motor Speedway – claimed sixth place as Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 10 at Martinsville.

Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro

Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

After a relatively subdued two days of running following the postponement due to rain on Saturday, Sunday’s restarted race sparked into action on lap 386, as Kyle Busch and Chris Buescher banged fenders coming off Turn 2 which triggered a multiple car crash that temporarily blocked the backstretch and brought out a red flag.

Among those also involved were Keselowski, Ryan Preece, Michael McDowell, Bowman, Suarez, Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, Matt DiBenedetto, Justin Haley and Cody Ware – while Suarez’s car briefly caught fire in the incident.

Following a 22-minute red flag to clean the track of debris, the race returned to caution, before a full restart on lap 397, with Hamlin at the head of the field followed by Blaney, Logano, Elliott and Truex.

With 50 laps to go, Hamlin maintained a small but steady lead over Blaney, but on lap 452, Chase Briscoe spun at Turn 3 which brought out the 15th caution of the race. All the lead-lap cars pitted with Truex the first off pitroad.

When the race returned to green on lap 459, Truex was followed by Hamlin, Larson, Elliott and Bell, with Hamlin going to the outside of Truex to reclaim the lead. But with 15 laps to go, Truex went to the inside and got around Hamlin to make the decisive move of the race.

Elliott and Hamlin remained in the hunt in the closing stages but Truex maintained a gap to the chasing pair to claim victory at Martinsville.

NASCAR Cup Martinsville race results - 500 laps

Cla Driver Manufacturer Time Gap
1 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 3:54'24.804  
2 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 3:54'26.776 1.972
3 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 3:54'27.168 2.364
4 United States William Byron Chevrolet 3:54'29.788 4.984
5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 3:54'31.033 6.229
6 United States Joey Logano Ford 3:54'31.532 6.728
7 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 3:54'32.069 7.265
8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 3:54'32.397 7.593
9 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 3:54'32.619 7.815
10 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 3:54'32.987 8.183
11 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 3:54'34.389 9.585
12 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 3:54'38.584 13.780
13 United States Chris Buescher Ford 3:54'39.305 14.501
14 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 3:54'39.934 15.130
15 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 3:54'41.182 16.378
16 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 3:54'42.181 17.377
17 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 3:54'42.482 17.678
18 United States Cole Custer Ford 3:54'42.674 17.870
19 United States Ryan Newman Ford 3:54'31.841 1 Lap
20 United States Aric Almirola Ford 3:54'45.594 1 Lap
21 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 3:54'30.816 2 Laps
22 Australia James Davison Chevrolet 3:54'35.916 6 Laps
23 United States Josh Bilicki Ford 3:54'35.816 7 Laps
24 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 3:54'41.673 7 Laps
25 United States J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 3:54'42.513 8 Laps
26 Anthony Alfredo Ford 3:54'46.027 8 Laps
27 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 3:54'56.943 9 Laps
28 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 3:54'33.821 10 Laps
29 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 3:54'43.480 22 Laps
30 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 3:18'41.925 97 Laps
31 United States Michael McDowell Ford 3:05'52.525 113 Laps
32 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 3:04'34.513 114 Laps
33 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 3:04'00.305 115 Laps
34 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 3:04'51.203 116 Laps
35 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 3:04'00.716 117 Laps
36 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 3:04'00.164 118 Laps
37 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 2:58'48.656 126 Laps

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Martin Truex Jr.
Author Jim Utter
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