Truex Dominant in Martinsville Victory, Hamlin and Logano Fight on Pit Road

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Martin Truex Jr. won the First Data 500 from Martinsville Speedway on Sunday afternoon to lock himself into the Championship Round of the Playoffs.

Truex was dominant on Sunday, and led 464 of 500 laps.  Truex, who struggled on short tracks for the majority of his career, has now won three in the past two years.

Truex said he and his team have been working to get better on short tracks.

“We’ve wanted to win here for a long time, and the guys have worked so hard,” Truex said.  “I’m just so excited and proud to drive this thing.”

The victory locks Truex into the Championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where he will fight for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

Truex said he’s excited that his team can now focus on the race in three weeks.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“We don’t have to worry about points anymore, we can just get to work on our Homestead car,” Truex said.  “We’re going to Homestead again, so that was what we tried to accomplish this weekend.”

William Byron tried to chase Truex down in the closing laps, but the 21-year old driver wasn’t able to make a move on the 19 of Truex.

Byron said he would have used the bumper to try to pick up his first career victory if he had been close enough.

“I wouldn’t have raced him dirty, but I’m really hungry for my first win,” Byron said.  “He ran such a good race, I think he would have been able to drag the brake and do anything he could to keep me behind him anyways.”

After the race, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano got into a pit road altercation after the two made contact late in the race.  Logano pushed Hamlin, and that led to a fight between the two drivers and their crews.

Hamlin said the fight started with a typical move from Logano.

“Everything was civil, and then, like Joey does, he does the little push and runs away,” Hamlin said.  “That’s Joey, he’s scared.  He would probably say, ‘it’s short track racing.’”

Logano said he was frustrated that Hamlin did not apologize for the contact between the two Playoff drivers.

“I just wanted to see what he was going to say, and he really wasn’t apologetic at all,” Logano said.  “Maybe I shouldn’t have shoved him at the end; it maybe escalated it a little bit more.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. William Byron
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Ryan Blaney
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Kevin Harvick
  8. Joey Logano
  9. Kyle Larson
  10. Ryan Newman
  11. David Ragan
  12. Chris Buescher
  13. Bubba Wallace
  14. Kyle Busch
  15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  16. Matt DiBenedetto
  17. Daniel Hemric
  18. Corey LaJoie
  19. Ryan Preece
  20. Erik Jones
  21. Paul Menard
  22. Austin Dillon
  23. Michael McDowell
  24. Ty Dillon
  25. Matt Crafton
  26. Landon Cassill
  27. BJ McLeod
  28. JJ Yeley
  29. Ross Chastain
  30. Alex Bowman
  31. Daniel Suarez
  32. Garrett Smithley
  33. Reed Sorenson
  34. Timmy Hill
  35. Clint Bowyer
  36. Chase Elliott
  37. Aric Almirola
  38. Jimmie Johnson