Its A Busch Kind of Weekend at Martinsville, Sweeps Wins Truck Race and STP500

Story By: Richard Thomas

Photos By: Sol Tucker and Benjamin Rogers Jr.

Martinsville, VA–

Kyle Busch Jumps Out at the Finish Line to Celebrate his Victory at Martinsville.

Kyle Busch Jumps Out at the Finish Line to Celebrate his Victory at Martinsville.

Coming into the weekend at Martinsville, Kyle Busch wasn’t the heavy favorite to win the truck series race let alone both races, well after today’s STP500, that drought is long over and the JGR car who led the most laps at Martinsville since 1998 has found a way to tame the track that has eluded him for some time now.

On Sunday, a caution reset the field with 34 laps to go and again with 11 laps remaining as drivers began swapping paint as the race winded down. Matt Kenseth joined Busch on the front row for the final restart, but with old tires and an outside position, he dropped 14 spots for a 15th-place finish.

Joey Logano, the pole-setter and Kenseth’s rival after an intentional crash last November at Martinsville, led just 21 laps and was a lap down at one point in the race. He finished 11th. AJ Allmendinger tied a career best at an oval with his runner-up finish, while Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.

“Its a great feeling to come in here and win this clock, seems like it was such a long time coming, We used the truck race to study the track and it paid off today. I give a lot of credit to this JGR team, they did a lot to make sure this car was right today said,” Busch.

Busch has now won at every track on the circuit except for Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Pocono Raceway. Busch chose the high line on the final restart with 13 laps to go and sailed past Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth. He also probably locked up a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and will have a chance to defend his title.

Another great finish came from Kyle Larson, who had his best finish in five career Cup starts here.

“It was really fun this whole weekend to be competitive on the race track. Normally I’m very, very bad here,” Larson said. “To finish top three feels like a win for me. Never would’ve thought that I’d finish top three here, and now I feel like maybe I can see a clock in my future.”

STP 500 results

Finish Driver Laps Laps led
1 Kyle Busch Toyota 500 352
2 AJ Allmendinger Chevy 500 0
3 Kyle Larson Chevy 500 0
4 Austin Dillon Chevy 500 0
5 Brad Keselowski Ford 500 0
6 Carl Edwards Toyota 500 0
7 Brian Vickers Chevy 500 0
8 Paul Menard Chevy 500 10
9 Jimmie Johnson Chevy 500 0
10 Ryan Newman Chevy 500 0
11 Joey Logano Ford 500 21
12 Greg Biffle Ford 500 0
13 Kurt Busch Chevy 500 0
14 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevy 500 0
15 Matt Kenseth Toyota 500 45
16 Danica Patrick Chevy 500 0
17 Kevin Harvick Chevy 500 72
18 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 500 0
19 * Ryan Blaney # Ford 500 0
20 Chase Elliott # Chevy 499 0
21 David Ragan Toyota 499 0
22 Kasey Kahne Chevy 499 0
23 Jamie McMurray Chevy 499 0
24 Michael McDowell Chevy 498 0
25 Clint Bowyer Chevy 497 0
26 Brian Scott # Ford 496 0
27 Trevor Bayne Ford 496 0
28 Landon Cassill Ford 495 0
29 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota 495 0
30 * Cole Whitt Chevy 495 0
31 Casey Mears Chevy 494 0
32 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 494 0
33 Chris Buescher # Ford 491 0
34 Regan Smith Chevy 491 0
35 Michael Annett Chevy 490 0
36 Joey Gase(i) Ford 490 0
37 * Reed Sorenson Chevy 490 0
38 * Josh Wise Chevy 326 0
39 Denny Hamlin Toyota 221 0
40 Aric Almirola Ford 206 0

* — non-chartered car; # — rookie

 

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