Wild Finish Gives Newman Win at Martinsville

Via IndyStar.com

Ryan Newman executes a pass on the first green-white-checker to secure first place on the following restart and holds off A.J Allmendinger for the win. The race today at Martinsville featured hot tempers and drivers blaming each other for the results. Early in the race Kurt Busch blew a tire, which just adds to his bad luck to start the season, and limped down pit road, ending his chances at winning today. Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick dominated early; Gordon led 328 laps today and ended up finishing sixth. Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick was looking for his 200th cup win today, early in the race all four of his teams looked strong all running in the top ten.

The first caution of the day came out when Kyle Busch made contact with the wall after something broke on his car. KyBusch continues to have bad luck to start out the season which will affect his shot at the championship this year. After long green flag runs, Kasey Kahne brought out the caution after he blew an engine. Kahne’s luck appears to be lost after a very disappointing start to his Hendrick Motorsports career.

At lap 361 Travis Kvapil spun his Burger King Toyota bringing out the caution with 139 laps left in the race. Around lap 401 Clint Bowyer began his charge to the front by passing Denny Hamlin and closing in on the leaders. When drivers needed to step up their game for a shot at the win, drivers friends soon became their enemy’s for a chance at winning today. Dale Earnhardt Jr. started making moves in an intense battle with Brad Keselowski, who used to driver for Jr. Brad wasn’t going to pull over and let Jr pass, they bumped a few times and when Keselowski got out of shape exiting a corner, Jr. took advantage and stormed by. With 43 laps to go Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed Clint Bowyer for third, making the top three all Hendrick Motorsports cars.

With 43 laps to go Rick Hendrick was all smiles in anticipation of his 200th victory in the cup series. Jeff Gordon now has the leader Jimmie Johnson in his sights, with 4 laps to go they were racing side by side making contact. After crossing the start finish line side by side with three laps to go the caution flew for David Reutimann who came to a halt on the front straightaway.

A few laps prior to the caution, Reutimann had cut down a tire and was headed to pit road. After a few laps of riding around he cut down another tire and stayed on the track. Eventually Reutimann came to a stop and caused a caution. Reutimann later tweeted that his engine blew which caused his car to stop on the track. Reutimann stopping on the track also caused Rick Hendrick his shot at winning his 200th win today at Martinsville. Coming up on the green-white –checker finish every car pitted except the two leaders, the No.48 and the No.24.

The top five coming to the restart are, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman. The green flag waves and Clint Bowyer dives down the track making it three-wide with the leaders. Then with little room Bowyer squeezed up into Jeff Gordon and caused Gordon to bump teammate Jimmie Johnson and Johnson spun out into the wall.

This incident ended Johnson’s chance at getting team owner Rick Hendrick win number 200. Then with quick reaction, Jeff Gordon spins Clint Bowyer up into the wall causing both cars to pit to repair damage. With all the action up the track, Ryan Newman sneaked by under the wreck and took the lead. With tempers flailing we had another restart to watch.

The restart order is as followed: Ryan Newman, A.J Allmendinger, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr. is Rick Hendrick’s final shot at winning number 200 today. A caution free end to the race featured Ryan Newman and A.J Allmendinger battling it out and when Ryan Newman cleared Allmendinger he didn’t look back.

Ryan Newman won his first ever race at Martinsville Speedway and gave his team Stewart-Hass Racing there third win out of the first six to start the season. Newman was ecstatic in Victory Lane which he should be. He commented “An awesome day for the Outback Chevrolet.” A classic short track race left tempers flailing and one happy driver.

Results via Nascar.com

1 5 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Outback Steak House 47/1 515 Running
2 27 22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 42/0 515 Running
3 14 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy / National Guard 42/1 515 Running
4 21 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation / Gary Sinise Foundation 41/1 515 Running
5 13 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 39/0 515 Running
6 3 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 39/1 515 Running
7 15 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 37/0 515 Running
8 19 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield “Helping Hungry Homes” 37/1 515 Running
9 7 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 36/1 515 Running
10 4 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 35/1 515 Running
11 28 99 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal 33/0 515 Running
12 22 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet MyLowe’s 33/1 515 Running
13 26 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 31/0 514 Running
14 9 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 32/2 514 Running
15 12 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Dewalt 29/0 513 Running
16 17 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / CSX “Play it Safe” 28/0 513 Running
17 16 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush’s Baked Beans 27/0 513 Running
18 6 55 Brian Vickers Toyota RK Motors 26/0 513 Running
19 2 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser is Back 26/1 513 Running
20 20 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Belkin 24/0 513 Running
21 32 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 23/0 512 Running
22 18 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet BB&T 22/0 512 Running
23 10 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 21/0 511 Running
24 24 34 David Ragan Ford Front Row Motorsports 20/0 511 Running
25 25 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 19/0 511 Running
26 11 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Libman / Menards 18/0 510 Running
27 34 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 17/0 510 Running
28 38 38 David Gilliland Ford Long John Silver’s 16/0 509 Running
29 31 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 15/0 507 Running
30 39 30 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 14/0 506 Running
31 41 33 Hermie Sadler Chevrolet Anderson’s Maple Syrup 13/0 505 Running
32 36 32 Ken Schrader Ford Federated Auto Parts 12/0 503 Running
33 40 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 11/0 497 Running
34 42 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 10/0 439 Brakes
35 29 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Accell Construction 9/0 436 Engine
36 8 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s 8/0 435 Running
37 43 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota JPO Absorbents 7/0 359 Brakes
38 1 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet HendrickCars.com 6/0 256 Engine
39 37 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 0 74 Brakes
40 23 98 Michael McDowell Ford Curb Records 4/0 60 Brakes
41 30 26 Josh Wise * Ford Morristown Driver’s Service 3/0 49 Brakes
42 33 23 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 2/0 30 Brakes
43 35 74 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Turn One Racing 0 25 Brakes

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