Wild Overtime Finish for Monster Cup in Martinsville

It’s the first race in the third round – the round of eight – for the Monster Energy Cup Series with the First Data 500 from Martinsville Speedway.

MartinsvilleSpeedwayBy Skinny Mike at flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikedefiant/122317548/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=766991

In a Martinsville first, the drivers are taking a page from the Camping World Truck and Xfinity Series by qualifying on the same day as the race.

Unlike most races, the pit selection was awarded on last week’s qualifying in Kansas; as a result, Martin Truex Jr will have the first pit stall after pit out.

Pit reporter Hermie Sadler trades in his microphone this week for a racing helmet when he makes a return to the track to run in the race.

After three rounds of qualifying on a chilly Sunday morning Joey Logano won the pole and will bring the field to green.

The starting lineup for the First Data 500:
Joey Logano
Martin Truex Jr – in the playoffs
Chase Elliott – in the playoffs
Ryan Blaney – in the playoffs
Clint Bowyer
Denny Hamlin – in the playoffs
Brad Keselowski – in the playoffs
Erik Jones
Kyle Larson
Aric Almirola
Kurt Busch
Kasey kahne
Kevin Harvick – in the playoffs
Kyle Busch – in the playoffs
Daniel Suarez
Jamie McMurray
Matt Kenseth
Ryan Newman
Paul Menard
Michael McDowell
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Danica Patrick
Jimmie Johnson – in the playoffs
Austin Dillon
Ty Dillon
AJ Allmendinger
Matt DiBenedetto
Chris Buescher
Cole Whitt
David Ragan
Reed Sorenson
Landon Cassill
Trevor Bayne
Gray Gaulding
Corey LaJoie
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Kyle Weatherman
Carl Long
Hermie Sadler

Dale Jr’s wife Amy is driving the pace car for today’s race.

After spinning out during round two of qualifying, Jimmie Johnson will have to start at the back of the field for unapproved adjustments.

Due to overnight rains and track drying, NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 45. Drivers may come down pit road for service prior to the competition cation but cannot fuel their cars until that competition caution flag.

Stages one and two of the race are 130 laps each with stage three lasting 246 laps for a total of 500 laps around the half mile track they call the paperclip.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag and edges out in front for the lead.

With the track only a half mile around, the leaders will encounter slower cars fairly quickly.

Lap five Joey Logano has the lead but Ryan Blaney is on his bumper.

Lap eight Jimmie Johnson has moved up to 31st place after starting last.

Lap 10 Joey Logano leads the race with Ryan Blaney in second and Martin Truex Jr in third.

Lap 14 Joey Logano leads the field with all 40 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 16 Joey Logano has a lead of nearly half a second on Ryan Blaney.

Lap 27 Joey Logano continues to lead the race with a lead of over half a second on Ryan Blaney.Jimmie Johnson is in 22nd place with 37 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 34 Joey Logano has a lead of nearly a second on Ryan Blaney with 34 cars on the lead lap. Brad Keselowski is in third place.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap 35 when Ty Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr get turned around after making contact with Michael McDowell.

NASCAR has announced that this is also the competition caution.

Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road. Kyle Busch advanced five spots after his pit stop.

Taking the outside lane, Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 45 and gets out in front of Brad Keselowski for the lead.

Lap 48 Joey Logano has led every lap so far.

Lap 49 team mate Brad Keselowski passes Joey Logano for the lead of the race. Kyle Busch is challenging Ryan Blaney for the third place spot.

Lap 53 Jimmie Johnson has moved up to 18th place after starting in 40th.

Lap 56 Brad Keselowski has a lead of nearly half a second on Joey Logano with Ryan Blaney in third a second and a half behind.

Lap 60 Brad keselowski leads the race with all 40 cars still on the race track.

The second caution flag comes out on lap 63 when David Ragan gets sideways and spins out.

While the leaders stay out on the track, some of the drivers come down pit road for service beginning with Jimmie Johnson in 18th place.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 69 and edges out Joey Logano for the lead of the race.

Lap 72 the top three are Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch.

Lap 76 team mates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano battle it out for the lead with Logano on Keselowski’s bumper and on lap 79 Joey Logano passes Brad Keselowski to retake the lead.

Lap 81 Joey Logano is once again the leader of the race with Brad Keselowski in second and Kyle Busch in third. There are 36 cars on the lead lap.

The third caution flag of the race comes out on lap 87 for a crash involving AJ Allmendinger and Danica Patrick.

After starting the race in last place Jimmie Johnson brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 94 and takes over the lead of the race.

Lap 97 Jimmie Johnson has a lead of over half a second on Kasey Kahne with Austin Dillon in third.

Lap 100 Jimie Johnson has a lead of over half a second on Kasey Kahne with Austin Dillon over a second behind in third. There are 36 cars on the lead lap.

The drivers are getting three wide across the track.

AJ Allmendinger is the first car out of the race after failing to beat the five minute clock.

Lap 108 Jimmie Johnson has a lead of over half a second on Kasey Kahne.

Brad Keselowski gets past Jimmie Johnson to take over the lead of the race on lap 115.

Lap 119 Brad Keselowski has a half second lead on Jimmie Johnson with Kyle Busch in third.

Lap 123 Brad Keselowski has a lead of over a second on Jimmie Johnson as the end of stage one approaches.

Kyle Busch passes Jimmie Johnson to take over seocond place over two seconds behind leader Brad Keselowski.

Brad Keselowski wins stage one.

TSM_Brad_Keselowski_-_2015_-_Stierch_2By Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41292737

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Busch
Joey Logano
Jimmie Johnson
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Elliott
Ryan Blaney
Kasey Kahne
Austin Dillon
Denny Hamlin

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road with Brad Keselowski in second.

Denny Hamlin was caught speeding on pit road.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 140.

Lap 144 Kyle Busch leads the race with a half second lead on Brad Keselowski.

Lap 150 Kyle Busch continues to lead the race with a lad of over half a second on Brad Keselowski with Joey Logano in third.

Lap 161 Kyle Busch holds on to his lead of over half a second on Brad Keselowski with 33 cars on the lead lap and one car out of the race.

Lap 167 Kyle Busch lead the race with Brad Keselowski in second and Chase Elliott in third.

Jamie McMurray made an unscheduled trip down pit road with a tire rub. The stop put him multiple laps down.

Lap 174 Kyle Busch continues to lead the race with a lead of less than half a second on Brad Keselowski with 29 cars on the lead lap.

Stuck in traffic, Kyle Busch is having difficulty getting around the slower cars as Brad Keselowski challenges for the lead.

Lap 188 there are 28 cars on the lead lap with Kyle Busch and his Halloween M&Ms car leading the field.

Lap 193 Kyle Busch has a quarter second lead on Brad Keselowski with Chase Elliott in third. There are 25 cars on the lead lap.

Matt DiBenedetto is off the track.

Lap 200 Kyle Busch holds on to his quarter second lead on Brad Keselowski with Joey Logano in third and 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 206 Kyle Busch lead the race by a quarter of a second with 21 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 216 Kyle Busch continues to lap cars with only 18 cars on the lead lap. Busch has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Brad Keselowski.

Lap 222 Kyle Busch has a lead of over half a second on Brad Keselowski with Joey Logano in third.

Jimmie Johnson is reporting a tight issue and is falling back in the field.

Lap 231 Denny Hamlin is in danger of going a lap down as leader Kyle Busch is on Hamlin’s bumper.. Hamlin is currently in 14th place.

Lap 127 Kyle Busch is on the bumper of Denny Hamlin with Brad Keselowski on Busch’s bumper challenging for the lead.

Lap 245 Kyle Busch holds on to the lead as he battles Brad Keselowski behind to keep the lead and Denny Hamlin to put his team mate a lap down.

Lap 250 Kyle Busch holds on to his lead over Brad Keselowski by just a tenth of a second.

Lap 254, there are only 13 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 257 Brad Keselowski challenges Kyle Busch for the lead the two drivers battle back and forth for the lead but its Keselowski who takes the lead and wins stage two.

Brad_Keselowski_NAVY

080301-N-5487R-0010 LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 1, 2008) – No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Monte Carlo driver Brad Keselowski talks to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Adam Coleman prior to the start of the Sam’s Club 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Coleman, one of the Navy’s Fleet Honorees selected for the race, recently returned from deployment in the Middle East where he was awarded the Purple Heart. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Andrea Ross (released).

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Busch
Joey Logano
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Elliott
Ryan Blaney.JimmieKevin Harvick
Matt Kenseth
Clint Bowyer
Jimmie Johnson

Denny Hamlin managed to stay on the lead lap and Austin Dillon gets the “lucky dog”.

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 272 and gets out in front of Brad Keselowski for the lead of the race.

Lap 276 Kyle Busch pulls out to a lead of over half a second on Brad Keselowski with Martin Truex Jr in third.

Chase Elliott gets around Martin Truex Jr for third place.

Lap 282 Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of a second on Brad Keselowski.

Lap 286 Kyle Busch has opened up to a lead of nearly a second and a half on Brad Keselowski with Chase Elliott in third.

Lap 292 Kyle Busch continues to lead Brad Keselowski by a second with Chase Elliott in third and three cars off the track. There are only 13 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 300 Kyle Busch has a lead of less than a second on Brad Keselowski, with Chase Elliott holding on to third place.

The sixth caution flag of the race comes out when Kyle Larson spins out and makes some heavy contact with the inside wall.

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road with Brad Keselowski coming out in second.

This time Kyle Busch chooses the inside lane to bring the field down for the green flag restart on lap 314 and holds on to the lead of the race.

After several drivers took the wave around, there are 24 cars on the lead lap.

Joey Logano gets around team mate Brad Keselowski to take over second place.

Lap 317 Erik Jones brings out the seventh caution flag of the race when he gets turned around. Jones has damage to the left quarter panel of his car where the fuel cell is.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 322 and edges out Joey Logano for the lead. Chase Elliott challenges Joey Logano for second and takes the spot.

With over 175 laps remaining in the race, the drivers will have to stop one more time for fuel.

Lap 325 Chase Elliott passes Kyle Busch for the lead of the race.

The lights are on at Martinsville for the first time during a Monster Energy Cup race.

Lap 330 Chase Elliott has a half second lead on Joey Logano with Brad Keselowski in third and Kyle Busch in fourth.

Lap 334 Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano with 25 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 335 Brad Keselowski gets around Joey Logano for second.

Lap 339 Chase Elliott has a lead of over a second on Brad Keselowski.

Lap 349 Chase Elliott continues to lead the race with a lead of half a second on Brad Keselowski with Joey Logano in third.

Lap 355 Chase Elliott’s lead is down to less than half a seocnd on Brad Keselowski. Joey Logano continues to hold on to third place.

The eighth caution flag of the race comes out on lap 361 for a crash involving Landon Cassill.

For the first time today Kyle Busch does not win the race off of pit road when Brad Keselowski beats the 18 off pit road.

Kevin Harvick has a slow pit stop due to an air hose issue.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 360 and takes the lead of the race.

After holding off Kyle Busch to stay on the lead lap, Denny Hamlin has moved into fifth place.

Lap 372 Kyle Busch loses third place to Chase Elliott.

Lap 374 Brad Keselowski leads the race with 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 380 Brad keselowski leads Chase Elliott by just under half a second with Martin Truex Jr in third.

Kyle Busch is reporting some issue with the right front end of his car…not a tire rub but something doesn’t feel right.

Lap 383 Chase Elliott has caught up to leader Brad Keselowski and is challenging for the lead.

Lap 386 Chase Elliott passes Brad Keselowski for the lead of the race. Kyle Busch has moved into third despite having car issues.

Lap 398 Chase Elliott still holds on to the lead of the race with Brad Keselowski in second.

Jimmie Johnson is reporting issues with the right front end of his car and is falling through the field. He is currently in 18th.

Lap 404 Chase Elliott’s lead on Brad Keselowski is down to less than half a second.

Lap 410 Chase Elliott holds on to the lead with a lead of nearly a second on Brad Keselowski with Kyle Busch in third.

Lap 415 Chase Elliott has a one second lead on Brad Keselowski.

Lap 419 the top five is Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, and Joey Logano.

Lap 426 Chase Elliott holds on to the lead with Brad Keselowski in second and Kyle Busch in third.

Lap 430 Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Brad Keselowski.

Chase Elliott faces a long line of slower cars who are still on the lead lap.

Lap 435 Chase Elliott is looking to put several drivers a lap down.

Lap 441 the top four are Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano.

Brad Keselowski has caught up to Chase Elliott and is challenging for the lead as the drivers encounter slower traffic.

Lap 445 Chase Elliott got loose and almost lost it but now has a tire rub and is smoking.

Fifty to go, Chase Elliott has a lead of just under half a second on Brad Keselowski with 17 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 455 Kyle Busch challenges Brad Keselowski for second with Kyle Busch edging out for the spot.

The caution flag comes out on lap 357 when Carl Long hit the wall. Jimmie Johnson is the “lucky dog”.

Chase Elliott wins the race off of pit road by a foot over Brad Keselowski. Kyle Busch lost two spots with an extended pit stop.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart with only 35 laps remaining in the race. Elliott holds on to the lead but Brad Keselowski is on his bumper.

Joey Logano and Kyle Busch are battling it out for third.

Brad Keselowski is riding on Chase Elliott’s bumper.

Lap 470 Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski are nose to nose with Keselowski edging out for the lead of the race.

Chase Elliott reciprocates with Brad Keselowski by riding the bumper of Keselowski’s car. Joey Logano is right behind in third.

With 23 laps remaining in the race, Brad Keselowski has a lead of nearly a second on Chase Elliott.

Twenty to go and Brad Keselowski has a lead of over half a second on Chase Elliott.

Only 18 laps to go and Brad Keselowski holds on to the lead by over half a second on Chase Elliott.

Thirteen to go, Joey Logano is smoking after making contact with Kyle Busch. Brad Keselowski is leading by over a second and a half.

Joey Logano is falling back as his car continues to smoke.

With only nine laps remaining in the race, Joey Logano brings out the caution flag with a flat tire.

Leaders stay out but some drivers come down pit road for that last set of fresh tires.

Choosing the outside lane Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart with only four laps remaining in the race. Chase Elliott challenges Keselowski and takes the lead.

Denny Hamlin puts a bumper into Chase Elliott spinning him out and bringing out the caution flag with only two laps remaining in the race.

The race is going into overtime.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for a green/white/checker overtime finish and takes the lead from the inside lane.

Taking the white flag Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin are side by side with Kyle Busch taking the lead.

Martin Truex Jr challenges Kyle Busch for the lead as drivers wreck behind him in “the big one”, but Busch holds on to win the race and guarantees his spot as one of the four drivers to compete for the championship at Homestead.

Kyle_Busch-2(1)By Pam J. – originally posted to Flickr as Kyle Busch, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4176304

The unofficial results of the First Data 500:
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Clint Bowyer
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick
Trevor Bayne
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Matt Kenseth
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Jimmie Johnson
Austin Dillon
Ryan Newman
Daniel Suarez
Kasey Kahne
Danica Patrick
Aric Almirola
Michael McDowell
Paul Menard
Chris Buescher
Kurt Busch
Landon Cassill
Joey Logano
Cole Whitt
Erik JOnes
Chase Elliott
David Ragan
Jamie McMurray
Ty Dillon
Gray Gaulding
Reed Sorenson
Corey LaJoie
Hermie Sadler
yle Weatherman
Carl Long
Kyle Larson
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Matt DiBenedetto
AJ Allmendinger


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