A wild finish to the 500 lap race at Martinsville Speedway, saw one driver punch his ticket to Homestead. The #22 of Joey Logano, made contact with the #78 of Martin Truex Jr as they came off of turn four, as Logano took the checkered flag in the First Data 500. Martin Truex Jr was inches from his first short track win after having to fight to the front from the back of the field.
Denny Hamlin was able to capture the stage one win, while Joey Logano took stage two. It was an up and down day for many of the round of 8 drivers, as they were all looking to punch their ticket to Homestead. It became anybody’s race with about 20 laps to go. Martin Truex fought hard, and even had the lead on the final lap but coming out of turn four, Logano made contact and he and Truex were sideways crossing the line. Logano claimed his second win of the 2018 season and first since Talladega in the spring.
Top 10 finishers:
1st #22 Joey Logano
2nd #11 Denny Hamlin
3rd #78 Martin Truex Jr
4th #18 Kyle Busch
5th #2 Brad Keselowski
6th #41 Kurt Busch
7th #9 Chase Elliott
8th #31 Ryan Newman
9th #19 Daniel Suarez
10th #4 Kevin Harvick
Other Notables: #10 Aric Almirola P11, #48 Jimmie Johnson P12, #88 Alex Bowman P17, #12 Ryan Blaney P20, #14 Clint Bowyer P21, #20 Erik Jones P26, #3 Austin Dillon P30, #42 Kyle Larson P37 DNF, #24 William Byron P39 DNF
As NASCAR heads to Texas for the second race of the round of 8, Joey Logano locked himself into the championship four at Homestead. Many drivers like Chase Elliott chances at making have been slowed as Elliott, Bowyer, Kurt Busch, and Almirola sit below the cutoff with only two races left in the round of 8. Here is a look at the playoff grid after Martinsville.
1st #22 Joey Logano 4074 points Locked into Championship Four
2nd #18 Kyle Busch 4104 points +46 above the cutoff
3rd #78 Martin Truex Jr 4083 points +25 above the cutoff
4th #4 Kevin Harvick 4083 points +25 above the cutoff
5th #41 Kurt Busch 4058 points -25 below the cutoff
6th #9 Chase Elliott 4052 points -31 below the cutoff
7th #14 Clint Bowyer 4041 points -42 below the cutoff
8th #10 Aric Almirola 4033 points -50 below the cutoff
Texas Motorspeedway and then ISM raceway in Phoenix have had very exciting playoff races in the past, and that looks like it will hold true once again. Martin Truex Jr has already vowed he will stop at nothing to make sure Joey Logano doesn’t win the championship at Homestead. We could be in for a crazy and wild final three races of the 2018 NASCAR season. It will definitely be something to watch.