Kyle Busch Won in Wild OT Finish at First Data 500 - Martinsville Speedway
MARTINSVILLE, VA – RIS - Under the newly installed track lights, Kyle Busch won the First Data 500, which was actually 505, for his 43rd victory in 459 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races by avoiding a multi-car pile-up at the finish line of the race. This is his fifth victory and 20th top ten finish in 2017.
Martin Truex Jr. finished second, Clint Bowyer third, Brad Keselowski fourth and Kevin Harvick was credited with fifth position.
Pole winner Joey Logano finished one lap down in 24th position due to the left rear tire of the #22 blowing out on lap 492 after staying on the truck with a smoking left rear tire after earlier contact from the #18 of eventual race winner Kyle Busch. Logano had been fighting at the front of the pack until the tire went down and caused him to spin in turn 2 and then limp to the pits for repairs during caution #10 of short track action.
The two lead cars of #2 Brad Keselowski and #24 Chase Elliott did not pit. With four laps to go in regulation, Elliott passed Keselowski in turns 3/4 and Keselowski drifted up the track and fell back several positions. Then #11 Denny Hamlin got to the rear of the #24 and pushed the rear bumper of Elliott’s car until he spun in turns 3/ 4.
The restart in overtime then had Hamlin leading, Kyle Busch starting in second position followed by Bowyer, Truex Jr. and #21 Ryan Blaney. All kinds of mayhem broke out as the field barreled toward the finish line. Kyle Busch had taken the lead by then with Truex Jr. second and a road block ensued behind them as Hamlin pushed into the side of Blaney and pushed his Ford into the inside wall approaching the finish line and a multitude of cars slammed and turned into each other.
Kyle Busch emerged the victor and put him into second position of the points chase, 17 points behind points leader Martin Truex Jr.
The crowd was booing but it was directed toward Denny Hamlin instead of Kyle Busch. Of course, every driver had a difference in opinion of what was good hard racing versus dirty racing. After race questions and talk were directed toward what will happen November 5th when the series races at Texas Motor Speedway.
Staff Writer and editor for RIS since 2001. Been attending NASCAR and stock car races since my dad starting taking me in 1960 at the age of 5.