Martin Truex Jr. was a top-five car for nearly the entire Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, but when the chips were on the table, Truex found another gear and cruised to his second win of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.
“Yeah, it was pretty incredible at the end there,” Truex said. “The Bass Pro Toyota, [Crew Chief] James [Small] and the guys really hung with me all day. We never could quite get it the way we wanted it, then it started getting dark out and she came to life.”
In scoring his second win of the season, Truex became the first driver to score their second win of 2021 in the season’s eighth race. Truex led twice in the 500-lap event, for a total of 20 laps, and he took the lead for good from his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin with 16 laps remaining.
After crossing the finish line for his 29th-career NCS victory, Truex absolutely burned the rubber off of his Goodyear tires in celebration.
Chase Elliott was able to work around Hamlin for the runner-up position in a great battle over the last handful of laps.
Hamlin, who led a race-high 276 laps, came home third, William Byron was fourth and Kyle Larson finished in fifth.
Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-10 finishers in this race.
Ryan Blaney attempted to rally from a pit road penalty late, but could only get back to 11th. Blaney led 157 laps on the day and won Stages 1 and 2.
The race was slowed 15 times for cautions including a massive 12-plus car melee on lap 385.