Penske's Brad Keselowski dominates NASCAR Cup Martinsville race

Dominik Wilde
Autosport
Keselowski dominates to win at Martinsville
Keselowski dominates to win at Martinsville

Penske's Brad Keselowski dominated to win the first 2019 NASCAR Cup series race at Martinsville.

Keselowski led 446 laps out of 500 and won all three stages on his way to his second victory of the year.

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The Penske Ford driver took the lead from team-mate Joey Logano on the sixth lap of the race after bumping past the reigning champion.

The only real challenger to Keselowski over the following 494 laps was Chase Elliott.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver was the only one to pass Keselowski on track and led a total 49 laps, but a caution on lap 371 handed the lead back to Keselowski in the pits.

Keselowski never relented once in front. Elliott closed in, but could not find a way past as the race entered its closing stages.

Despite his recent dominance in NASCAR, Kyle Busch was largely anonymous for the first part of the race.

But Busch rallied back to be a part of the lead battle towards the end and was on Elliott's tail for in and around the final 80 laps, but could not find a way past.

At the finish, Keselowski, Elliott and Busch were covered by less than a second. Behind the top three was Ryan Blaney who took his third consecutive top five finish.

The Penske driver started from 17th but quickly worked his way forward. He did not lead any laps, unlike his Penske team-mates, but for much of the race had what appeared to be one of the strongest cars in the field.

Keselowski dominates to win at Martinsville
Keselowski dominates to win at Martinsville

Blaney beat Denny Hamlin, who had to fight back from an uncontrolled tyre violation penalty that he earned after a pitstop he completed at the beginning of the final stage.

Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer were sixth and seventh, the latter having to recover from two pit lane speeding penalties.

Martin Truex Jr split the Stewart-Haas drivers in eighth with Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez completing the top 10.

Although a strong 12th behind Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch had his worst finish since the season-opening Daytona 500.

There were no retirements from the race, although there were five caution periods outside of the stage-ending yellows.

The stand out stoppage was the second which came on lap 146 after Ross Chastain lost an axle.

After pitting for repairs he was able to rejoin the race and was classified 34th out of 36, having only completed 365 laps.

Race result

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Laps

Gap

1

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

Ford

500

3h21m54.s

2

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

500

0.594s

3

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

500

1.335s

4

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

Ford

500

2.916s

5

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

500

3.604s

6

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

500

4.017s

7

Clint Bowyer

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

500

5.355s

8

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

500

5.787s

9

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

500

6.146s

10

Daniel Suarez

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

500

6.381s

11

Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

500

7.051s

12

Kurt Busch

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

500

7.549s

13

Ty Dillon

Germain Racing

Chevrolet

500

8.507s

14

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

500

9.996s

15

Paul Menard

Wood Brothers Racing

Ford

500

10.717s

16

Ryan Preece

JTG Daugherty Racing

Chevrolet

500

11.505s

17

Darrell Wallace Jr.

Richard Petty Motorsports

Chevrolet

500

11.848s

18

Kyle Larson

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

500

12.151s

19

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Ford

500

13.200s

20

Matt DiBenedetto

Leavine Family Racing

Toyota

500

13.712s

21

Chris Buescher

JTG Daugherty Racing

Chevrolet

499

1 Lap

22

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

499

1 Lap

23

Ryan Newman

Roush Fenway Racing

Ford

499

1 Lap

24

Jimmie Johnson

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

498

2 Laps

25

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Roush Fenway Racing

Ford

498

2 Laps

26

David Ragan

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

496

4 Laps

27

Daniel Hemric

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

496

4 Laps

28

Landon Cassill

StarCom Racing

Chevrolet

494

6 Laps

29

Matt Tifft

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

494

6 Laps

30

Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

491

9 Laps

31

Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

491

9 Laps

32

D.J. Kennington

Spire Motorsports

Chevrolet

489

11 Laps

33

Corey LaJoie

Go FAS Racing

Ford

489

11 Laps

34

Ross Chastain

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

365

Engine

35

Jeb Burton

Rick Ware Racing

Ford

163

Brakes

36

Cody Ware

Petty Ware Racing

Chevrolet

55

Brakes

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