William Byron at the end of boredom
On the Martinsville Speedway, it is at the end of boredom that William Byron becomes the first multiple winner in 2022 in the NASCAR Cup Series. Hendrick Motorsports led all but six laps of the race and claimed a twenty-seventh victory at this track.
There was the Joe Gibbs Racing demonstration at Richmond last week, this week Hendrick Motorsports is setting the record straight at Martinsville Speedway. The winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history led 394 of the 400 laps in the race. Starting from pole Chase Elliott led the first 186 laps of the race, before his teammate William Byron led almost the entire last segment and went to get the clock given to the winner.
If this is the second victory for William Byron this season, after that acquired on the Atlanta oval, it is his fourth in his career and his first in Martinsville in the Cup. Above all, he brings the n°24 back to Victory Lane in Martinsville for the first time since the fall of 2015 and Jeff Gordon’s victory.
It’s incredible. I knew that during the last neutralization everyone could stop behind us. I got a little screwed up on the raise.
Joey Logano couldn’t take his chance on the last raise and finished in second place. Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney and Ross Chastain complete the top 5 of this eighth race of the season. Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Chase Briscoe and Chase Elliott complete the top 10.
A nightmare race for the Gibbs
Only four times the safety car intervened in this race. Twice it was for the end of segments. The only two incidents on the track were a mechanical problem for Denny Hamlin on lap 311, then an incident for Todd Gilliland on lap 393 which led to a Green White Checkered.
Winner last week, Denny Hamlin completely missed out on his race at Martinsville. Seven times winner on the Virginia short track, Denny Hamlin lost a lap at the end of the first segment and never managed to adjust his Toyota Camry to play the leading roles.
The race for Joe Gibbs Racing once again turned into a disaster in the pits during the green flag stop. Martin Truex Jr. punctured a few moments after his return to the track, while Christopher Bell was penalized because his mechanics arrived at the location too early. In the end only Kyle Busch saved the day with a seventh place, just behind his brother.
The Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 brief
Segment 1: Chase Elliott, William Byron, Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Austin Cindric and Kurt Busch
Segment 2: Chase Elliott, William Byron, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Cole Custer, Austin Dillon, Aric Almirola, Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick
Next weekend, the NASCAR Premier Division will have a third short track race with Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt.