Kyle Busch in the final restart with two laps to go in overtime passed teammate Denny Hamlin in the No.11 Toyota to win in Martinsville. Busch ran alongside Hamlin and made contact to take the lead as the while flag waved, then he held on being challenged by Martin Truex Jr. while the field wrecked behind him crossing the finish line in a major pileup.
Truex who finished second has never won on a short track and almost pulled it off at the end, but came up just a car length short of a consecutive victory for the Furniture Row team.
Meanwhile, the win in Martinsville guaranteed Busch has punched his ticket to the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This is his second career victory in Martinsville and an important opening win in the Round of 8.
Tempers flared on the track between Hamlin and Chase Elliott. When Joey Logano had a tire rub with nine laps remaining setting up a restart between leader Brad Keselowski and Elliott in second position, the green flag dropped, Elliott’s No. 24 Chevy jump out first, taking the lead as Keselowski went high on the track.
Hamlin pulled into the second position and made contact with Elliott’s rear bumper, caused the No. 24 to spin out with only two laps remaining in regulation which brought out the caution flag setting up the final restart. Due to the incident Elliott finished 27th and was not shy about letting Hamlin know is displeasure.
When the checkered flag waved and they crossed the finish line while cars wrecked into what seemed like a parking lot or bumper cars, Elliott nudged Hamlin’s No. 11 who finished seventh into the high wall. The two drivers exited their vehicles and exchanged words in an obvious heated discussion.
The “Jersey Boy” Truex Jr in the black No. 78 Toyota charged with utter abandon came up just short. While Clint Bowyer in the No. 14 Ford finished third, Brad Keselowski the Stage 1 and 2 winner was fourth in the No. 2 Ford and Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Ford was fifth. The remaining top ten finishers were Trevor Bayne sixth, Hamlin seventh, Ryan Blaney eighth, Matt Kenseth ninth and Ricky Stenhouse in tenth.
The Stage 2 race was interesting as Keselowski stole it from Kyle Busch. He took the lead from Busch with two laps remaining in the stage. Busch challenged Keselowski down the final two turns, but Keselowski held on and finished strong.
Next week the Monster Energy Series moves on to Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday November 5th at 2:00 pm eastern for the AAA Texas 500, this is the second race in the Round of 8.