– This race in Martinsville today featured just about everything the sport has to offer, and then some.
– Yeah, we spoke on race day about wildness and madness. And our final short track race of the year did not let us down. We had a hard racing, guys racing for position, guys racing to stay on the lead lap, for stage points. And obviously, at the end of 500 laps, the race for the win.
– Yeah, and an intensity level like we haven’t seen in a long time. Let’s take a look at how all the craziness unfolded. Jimmie Johnson had an issue in qualifying. Therefore, he started 40th. He short pitted, though, to get the lead.
– He under caution, he pitted at lap 64. Most of the leaders stayed out. Then stayed out the next caution with 19 laps on his tires. Paid dividends for a little bit. But Brad Keselowski a little fresher tires, up there and takes the lead back from Jimmie Johnson.
– And Jimmie was able to finish fourth in the stage, though. Brad Keselowski wins stage number one.
– Yeah Brad and his two car, they were just good from the drop of the green flag. No surprise. It’s the same race car that he won with there in the spring.
– Let’s move on to one lap to go now and stage number two as Keselowski passes Kyle Busch for the lead in all kinds of traffic.
– Well it’s what we’ve been talking about during the entire playoffs, the fight for stage points, the importance of that.
– They are important. and Brad Keselowski wins stage two to gather some. As he gets 20 stage points in total for the race. Now let’s take a look at Chase Elliott. He’s leading late, dealing with lap traffic, and a little contact with Brad Keselowski.
– Had a good lead til he ran upon those lap down cars. Gets that left rear rub right there. I think they were not going to pit, unless we got a caution. And then at lap 458, Carl Long in the 66 car brings that caution out. It gives the 24 crew an opportunity to come to Pit Road for fresh tires. The repair on the left rear quarter. Even with that, he came in leading and won the battle off Pit Road.
– Very important stop for them, lap 471. Brad Keselowski passes Chase Elliott for the lead.
– I just felt like, at this point in the race, John, that Brad Keselowski was a little better on the short run. But maybe Chase Elliott a little better on the long run.
– His teammate Joey Logano and Kyle Busch are three wide for second. But that gives Joey a tire rub.
– Yeah, Joey having probably one of his best runs he’s had in a number of races right there. He’s trying to get the best finish he can. But unfortunately, nine laps to go, the tire blows out, brings the caution that his teammate Brad Keselowski did not need.
– Another restart late in the race as Chase Elliott muscles Brad Keselowski for the lead.
– I don’t know about muscling, but maybe just shoved it completely up out of the bottom two grooves. But he takes the lead. But here comes Denny Hamlin in that 11 car.
– OK, here’s what a lot of people going to be talking about for the rest of this week. Take a look as Denny Hamlin gets in the back of Chase Elliott.
– Yeah, you know, I don’t know if I would call it getting in the back. I would say just basically picking the rear wheels up off the ground, and dumping him and wrecking him right there. Not the way it should be done.
– So Larry, we now go to overtime. The final lap, it was Kyle Busch who passes Denny.
– Yeah, teammates right there. Denny Hamlin overdrives the corner. But here comes Kyle Busch. He’s got his hands full of Martin Truex Jr. in his 78, trying to win his first short track race. But Kyle will prevail. And look behind him. Fifth on back, they just destroy their race cars, the big one at Martinsville at the checkered flag.
– All kind of wrecking going on. But it wasn’t over yet as Chase Elliott runs into Denny Hamlin. And after the race, the two drivers had several words with one another. We have a lot more on that conflict coming up in Victory Lane.
But right now, let’s take a look at the results. We remind you once again, your playoff drivers are in the yellow. Kyle Busch gets the win, and he moves on. Martin Truex Jr. with a great finish. Also non-playoff drivers Clint Bowyer and Trevor Bayne had great finishes as well.