NASCAR

Penske’s Brad Keselowski dominates NASCAR Cup Martinsville race

Penske’s Brad Keselowski dominated to win the first 2019 NASCAR Cup series race at Martinsville.

Keselowski led 446 laps out of 500 and won all three stages on his way to his second victory of the year.

The Penske Ford driver took the lead from team-mate Joey Logano on the sixth lap of the race after bumping past the reigning champion.

The only real challenger to Keselowski over the following 494 laps was Chase Elliott.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver was the only one to pass Keselowski on track and led a total 49 laps, but a caution on lap 371 handed the lead back to Keselowski in the pits.

Keselowski never relented once in front. Elliott closed in, but could not find a way past as the race entered its closing stages.

Despite his recent dominance in NASCAR, Kyle Busch was largely anonymous for the first part of the race.

But Busch rallied back to be a part of the lead battle towards the end and was on Elliott’s tail for in and around the final 80 laps, but could not find a way past.

At the finish, Keselowski, Elliott and Busch were covered by less than a second. Behind the top three was Ryan Blaney who took his third consecutive top five finish.

The Penske driver started from 17th but quickly worked his way forward. He did not lead any laps, unlike his Penske team-mates, but for much of the race had what appeared to be one of the strongest cars in the field.

Blaney beat Denny Hamlin, who had to fight back from an uncontrolled tyre violation penalty that he earned after a pitstop he completed at the beginning of the final stage.

Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer were sixth and seventh, the latter having to recover from two pit lane speeding penalties.

Martin Truex Jr split the Stewart-Haas drivers in eighth with Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez completing the top 10.

Although a strong 12th behind Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch had his worst finish since the season-opening Daytona 500.

There were no retirements from the race, although there were five caution periods outside of the stage-ending yellows.

The stand out stoppage was the second which came on lap 146 after Ross Chastain lost an axle.

After pitting for repairs he was able to rejoin the race and was classified 34th out of 36, having only completed 365 laps.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 500
2 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500
3 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500
4 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 500
5 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500
6 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500
7 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500
8 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500
9 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500
10 Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500
11 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500
12 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 500
13 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 500
14 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500
15 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 500
16 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 500
17 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 500
18 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 500
19 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 500
20 Matt DiBenedetto Leavine Family Racing Toyota 500
21 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 499 1 Lap
22 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 499 1 Lap
23 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford 499 1 Lap
24 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 498 2 Laps
25 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 498 2 Laps
26 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 496 4 Laps
27 Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 496 4 Laps
28 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 494 6 Laps
29 Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports Ford 494 6 Laps
30 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 491 9 Laps
31 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 491 9 Laps
32 D.J. Kennington Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 489 11 Laps
33 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing Ford 489 11 Laps
34 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 365 Engine
35 Jeb Burton Rick Ware Racing Ford 163 Brakes
36 Cody Ware Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet 55 Brakes

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