The victory was the first for Ford at Martinsville since 2002.
After qualifying was cancelled due to rain and lightning, the field was set based off of driver points, putting Kyle Larson at the point for the STP500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Larson elected to start his No. 42 Target Chevrolet and allowed the No. 24 of Chase Elliott to start on the preferred line, the bottom of the track.
Larson was able to jump out to the early lead and Elliott fell all the way back to 7th place after getting stuck on the outside line after being passed by the No. 2 of Brad Keselowski.
Just five laps into the race, Jimmie Johnson suffered damage to the front of his No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet after making contact with No. 77, Erik Jones.
With 61 laps remaining in the first stage, Ricky Stenhouse, driver of the No. 17, made contact with No. 27 of Paul Menard in turn four, and spun his Fastenal Ford, suffering minor damage.
Keselowski was penalized on the caution for speeding on pit road and his teammate, No. 22 of Joey Logano also suffered a penalty when his hackmen was over the wall too soon, putting the Penske drivers in positions 26 and 27 and handing the lead over to No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.
With 28 laps remaining in the first stage, Jamie McMurray‘s day concluded when he cut his tire and wrecked his No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet after the No. 21 of Ryan Blaney made a questionable, but aggressive move on No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson, sending him into the McMurray.
With three laps remaining in the first stage, Truex Jr. jumped out to the lead on the restart and won the first stage, earning his ninth stage point of the year, most of any driver.
Stage One Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
The No. 18 of Kyle Busch elected to stay on the track for the caution and started his M&M’s Toyota in the first position.
Daniel Suarez suffered left front damage to his No. 19 Arris Toyota after getting into the rear of No. 10 Danica Patrick. The damage forced Suarez to pit and he lost three laps on pit road.
On lap 233, No. 22 Joey Logano made contact with his teammate, Keselowski and suffered a flat tire. Logano exited the pits two laps down.
In an effort to stay on the lead lap, No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse moved the leader, Kyle Busch up the track on the final turn and Chase Elliott capitalized on the move, winning stage two.
Stage Two Winner: Chase Elliott
The restart master, Kyle Busch took the lead on the stage three restart but Busch’s crew chief warned him that he had tire wear on left his rear.
Five-time Martinsville winner, Denny Hamlin elected not to pit under caution and he led the field to green but stood no chance against Kyle Busch’s fresh tires.
The 11th caution of the race came out when No. 33 Jeffrey Earnhardt blew a tire and was sent into the turn four wall.
With 95 laps remaining, Keselowski finally got around the No. 18 of Kyle Busch and on that same lap, No. 32 Matt Dibenedetto made contact with the No. 17 of Stenhouse Jr. and got sent hard into the wall.
With 82 laps remaining, a huge crash occurred in turn four including Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin, 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr., A.J Allmendinger, Trevor Bayne, Erik Jones and Aric Almirola.
Martin Truex Jr. made contact with No. 20 Matt Kenseth and spun out with 69 laps remaining, bringing out the 13th caution.
After leading 112 laps, Keselowski eventually was able to hold off Kyle Busch and win his first grandfather clock at Martinsville.
- Brad Keselowski
- Kyle Busch
- Chase Elliott
- Joey Logano
- Austin Dillon
- AJ Allmedinger
- Clint Bowyer
- Ryan Newman
- Matt Kenseth
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
P15: Jimmie Johnson, P16: Martin Truex Jr., P17: Kyle Larson, P20: Kevin Harvick, P30: Denny Hamlin, P34: Dale Earnhardt Jr., P37: Kurt Busch
Next week, NASCAR is heading to Texas Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
My pick to win: Kyle Larson