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Truex On Top at the ‘Clip

Martin Truex, Jr. - photo by Brendon D. Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

It was just a Matter of Time for Truex, Jr., as he rebounded from an early pit penalty to drive away from Ryan Blaney Wednesday night at the Paperclip.


The NASCAR Cup Series abbreviated Race schedule traveled to Martinsville Speedway.  Wednesday June 11, 2020  for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500.

Continuing cooperation with CVC, no spectators and limited essential personnel will be allowed.

As Qualifying and Practice dismissed, Teams would random draw for Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 grid position. Penske Driver Ryan Blaney had the hot hand drawing the post for his No. 12 Ford Mustang.

 It was a historic first race under the lights on the 0.526-mile shaped Martinsville Speedway, and it came on a day when NASCAR made a monumental announcement to ban the Confederate flag. Martinsville Speedway has hosted venues since the existence of NASCAR in 1949.

Martin Truex Jr., the 2017 Cup champion, has failed to find victory lane for Joe Gibbs Racing over the first 10 races of this season.  A grandfather clock await Truex Jr.  at Martinsville Speedway.

In order to collect Back to Back wins at the famed half-mile, Truex Jr. must overcome a commitment-line pit violation penalty on Lap 115, forcing the front runner to start in the back of the field.

Ryan Blaney who led the field to green, lost a lap early in the race, got his lap back, drove all the way back up to first and then seemed to be dialed in to capture the win. An unplanned pit-infraction penalty during a caution on Lap 175 would show dividends as Blaney’s Ford was recycled to back of the pack.

Martin Truex Jr.  proved to be the dormant car over the race’s final segment. The JGR Toyota sustained damage early in race and was attended by his pit team.   Martin Truex Jr. diced his way through lapped traffic over the final 100 green-flag laps, tracking down and overtaking Ryan Blaney to the checkers.

Bubba Wallace the only black driver who races full-time in NASCAR drove the Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43 Chevrolet supported   “a #BlackLivesMatter “ paint scheme awareness theme for Wednesday race. Wallace impressive performance checked off an 11th place finish after being edged out of a top 10 finish by Cup Jimmie Johnson at the stripe.

The win is Martin Truex Jr. first of season and in additionally also the first for crew chief James Small. He replaced Cole Pearn as Truex’s crew chief at the end of the 2019 season.

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500  – Stage 1 Results:

1. Joey Logano

2. Clint Bowyer

3. Jimmie Johnson

4. Martin Truex Jr;

5. Bubba Wallace

6. Chase Elliott

7. Kurt Busch

 8. Kevin Harvick

9. Matt DiBenedetto

10. William Byron

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 –  Stage 2 Results:

1. Jimmie Johnson

2. Ryan Blaney

3. Joey Logano

4. Alex Bowman

5. Kevin Harvick

6. Bubba Wallace

7. William Byron

8. Chase Elliott

9. Kurt Busch

10. Tyler Reddick

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500  Final Stage Results

1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Ryan Blaney
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Joey Logano 
5. Chase Elliott
6. Alex Bowman
7. Matt DiBenedetto
8. William Byron
9. Kurt Busch
10. Jimmie Johnson
11. Bubba Wallace
12. Ryan Newman
13. Chris Buescher
14. Michael McDowell
15. Kevin Harvick
16. Tyler Reddick
17. Clint Bowyer
18. Corey LaJoie
19. Kyle Busch
22. Ty Dillon
23. Matt Kenseth
24. Denny Hamlin
25. John Hunter Nemechek
26. Ryan Preece
27. Daniel Suarez
28. Christopher Bell
29. Cole Custer
30. Brennan Poole
31. JJ Yeley
32. David Starr
33. Aric Almirola
34. Quin Houff
35. Joey Gase
36. Garrett Smithley
37. Austin Dillon
38. Reed Sorenson
39. Timmy Hill

Kevin Harvick’s 15th place finish was still good enough to retain the championship series lead – 28 points over Joey Logano and 47 points on Chase Elliott in 3rd.   Martinsville completed a stretch of seven straight Cup races since it resumed without fans at the track. That streak ends Sunday when 1,000 Florida service members, representing the Homestead Air Reserve Base and U.S. Southern Command in Doral, are allowed to attend the Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway as honorary guest.  

The NASCAR Cup Series locates to Homestead, Fla.  Sunday June 14th for the Dixie Vodka 400   (3:30 p.m.  ET on Fox,  MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)

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