Martin Truex Jr. wins Blue-Emu 500

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Anthony Ballantoni
·6 min read
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The Cup Series (NCS) and XFINITY Series (NXS) were active at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway. The weather did not cooperate with NASCAR’s schedule again this past weekend. After some earlier track drying, Friday night’s NXS 250-lap Cook Out 250 started almost on time. The race reached lap 91 before heavy rain triggered the red flag. Track drying attempts were made but more rain and lightening forced NASCAR to rescheduled completion of the event to Sunday. Saturday night’s NCS 500-lap Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 was dealt more of the same. That race reached lap 42 and was also moved to Sunday. Both races completed without interference from Mother Nature on Sunday. Martin Truex Jr. broke the streak of 7 different Cup Series winners in as many races by becoming the first 2021 repeat winner (he also won the March 14th race at Phoenix Raceway). The Camping World Truck Series will return on April 17th at Richmond Raceway. The latest results and upcoming scheduled events for the NASCAR feeder series are also included below as well as details on all tracks mentioned in this column.

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

Sun, Apr 11, Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 - Martinsville Speedway - 500 laps.
- No practice or qualifying. NASCAR’s qualifying metric set the starting lineup for this event based on race finishes, point standings and fastest race laps. This placed Joey Logano (#22 Ford Mustang) P1 on the starting grid. Denny Hamlin (#11 Toyota Camry) completed the front row in the P2 spot. #24 William Byron, #12 Ryan Blaney, #9 Chase Elliott, #47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #19 Martin Truex Jr., #6 Ryan Newman, #4 Kevin Harvick and #2 Brad Keselowski, respectively formed the rest of the top-10 in the lineup. Did not make the 40-car field: No one, only 37 entries.

- Martin Truex Jr. (#19 Toyota Camry) scored his 29th victory in 558 NCS races. This is his 2nd victory and 5th top-10 finish in 2021. It is his 3rd victory and 14th top-10 finish in 32 races at Martinsville. Chase Elliott (2nd) posted his 7th top-10 finish in 13 Martinsville races and his 4th top-10 finish in 2021. Denny Hamlin (3rd) earned his 22nd top-10 finish in 32 races at Martinsville. Anthony Alfredo (26th) was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender. Polesitter Joey Logano led six laps and finished in 6th place.

- NCS points leader: Denny Hamlin leads the point standings by 76 points over Martin Truex Jr.

- TOP-16 NCS Playoff Contenders (G/L):
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Martin Truex Jr. +1
3. Joey Logano -1
4. Kyle Larson
5. Ryan Blaney +2
6. William Byron
7. Chase Elliott +2
8. Kevin Harvick
9. Brad Keselowski -4
10. Christopher Bell
11. Kyle Busch +2
12. Austin Dillon -1
13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +1
14. Chris Buescher +3
15. Kurt Busch
16. Michael McDowell -4

- Next: Sun, Apr 18, Toyota Owners 400 - Richmond Raceway - 400 laps.

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)

Sun, Apr 11, Cook Out 250 - Martinsville Speedway - 250 laps.
- No practice or qualifying. NASCAR’s qualifying metric set the starting lineup for this event based on race finishes, point standings and fastest race laps. This placed Harrison Burton (#20 Toyota Camry) P1 on the starting grid. Justin Allgaier (#7 Chevrolet Camaro) completed the front row in the P2 spot. #16 AJ Allmendinger, #18 Daniel Hemric, #11 Justin Haley, #22 Austin Cindric, #98 Riley Herbst, #9 Noah Gragson, #2 Myatt Snider and #1 Michael Annett, respectively formed the rest of the top-10 in the lineup. Did not make the 40-car field: #77 Ronnie Bassett Jr., #31 Jordan Anderson and #03 Andy Lally.

- Josh Berry (#8 Chevrolet Camaro) scored his 1st victory in 14 NXS races. He led a race-high 95 laps of the 250 lap event. This is his 3rd top-10 finish in 2021 and 1st top-10 finish in two races at Martinsville. Noah Gragson (2nd) posted his 2nd top-10 finish in three Martinsville races and his 3rd top-10 finish in 2021. Gragson also collected $100,000 as the top finisher among four eligible drivers for the Dash 4 Cash bonus. Daniel Hemric (3rd) earned his 1st top-10 finish in two races at Martinsville. Polesitter Harrison Burton led 52 laps and finished 7th.

- NXS points leader: Austin Cindric (finished 6th in race) by 42 points over Daniel Hemric.

- TOP-12 NXS Playoff Contenders (G/L):
1. Austin Cindric
2. Daniel Hemric
3. Harrison Burton
4. Justin Haley +1
5. Jeb Burton +1
6. AJ Allmendinger -2
7. Myatt Snider
8. Justin Allgaier
9. Jeremy Clements
10. Brandon Jones
11. Noah Gragson +3
12. Michael Annett +1

- Next: Sat, Apr 24, Ag-Pro 300 - Talladega Superspeedway - 113 laps.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NTS)

- NTS points leader: John Hunter Nemechek by 6 points over Ben Rhodes.

- TOP-10 NTS Playoff Contenders (G/L):
1. John Hunter Nemechek
2. Ben Rhodes
3. Sheldon Creed
4. Matt Crafton
5. Stewart Friesen
6. Austin Hill
7. Zane Smith +1
8. Grant Enfinger +1
9. Todd Gilliland +3
10. Austin Wayne Self +4

- Next: Sat, Apr 17, ToyotaCare 250 - Richmond Raceway - 250 laps.

NASCAR Feeder Series

ARCA Menards Series:
Fri, Mar 12, * General Tire 150 - Phoenix Raceway - 150 laps.
Winner: Ty Gibbs - P1: Ty Gibbs - Points Leader: Corey Heim
Next: Sat, Apr 24, General Tire 200 - Talladega Superspeedway - 76 laps.

ARCA Menards East:
Sat, Feb 27, Pensacola 200 - Five Flags Speedway - 200 laps.
Winner: Sammy Smith - P1: Sammy Smith - Points Leader: Sammy Smith
Next: Sat, May 8, Music City 200 - Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway - 200 laps.

ARCA Menards West:
Fri, Mar 12, * General Tire 150 - Phoenix Raceway - 150 laps.
Winner: Ty Gibbs - P1: Ty Gibbs ** - Points Leader: Ty Gibbs
Next: Sat, Jun 5, General Tire 125 - Sonoma Raceway - 50 laps.

Whelen Modified Tour:
Thu. Apr 8, Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200 - Martinsville Speedway - 200 laps.
Winner: Eric Goodale - P1: Ryan Preece - Points Leader: Eric Goodale
Next: Sun. Apr 25, NAPA Spring Sizzler - Stafford Motor Speedway - 150 laps.

Pinty's Series:
Season opener: Sun, May 23, TBA - Sunset Speedway

Peak Mexico Series:
Season opener: Sun, May 22, TBA - Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas

* Combo race between ARCA Menards and ARCA Menards West

Track Details

Five Flags Speedway - 0.5-mile oval - Pensacola, Florida
Martinsville Speedway - 0.526-mile oval - Martinsville, Virginia
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway - 0.596-mile oval - Nashville, Tennessee
Phoenix Raceway - 1-mile tri-oval - Avondale, Arizona
Richmond Raceway - 0.75-mile oval - Richmond, Virginia
Sonoma Raceway - 2.520-mile, 12-turn road course - Sonoma, California
Stafford Motor Speedway - 0.5-mile oval - Stafford Springs, Connecticut
Sunset Speedway - 0.333-mile oval - Innisfil, Ontario
Super Ovalo Chiapas - 0.75-mile tri-oval - Tuxtla Gutierrez
Talladega Superspeedway - 2.66-mile tri-oval - Talladega, Alabama