NASCAR: Martin Truex Jr. Wins Martinsville Blue-Emu Pain Relief 500

by Jennifer Shea

Martin Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Pain Relief 500 race at Martinsville on Sunday.

Truex whizzed past teammate Denny Hamlin to clinch the win. His No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota led for only 20 of the 500 laps in the race, according to NASCAR.

In fact, Truex had ceded the lead to Hamlin on a restart, but later caught up to Hamlin and passed him after racing side-by-side with him for four laps. Then Chase Elliott overtook Hamlin to come in second place in the race, per Yahoo! Sports.

Martin Truex Jr. Becomes First Repeat Winner of Cup Series This Season

His victory makes Truex the first repeat winner in the NASCAR Cup Series so far this season. But it’s Truex’s third win in the past four Martinsville races and the 29th win of his Cup Series career.

Truex has excelled on the short tracks lately, according to Bleacher Report.  

“It was pretty incredible here at the end,” he said in his post-race interview on FS1. “We never could quite get it the way we wanted, but at the end it came to life.”

Massive 12-Car Pileup Stalled Race

A massive 12-car pileup had forced a red flag 387 laps into the race. Chris Buescher and Kyle Bush had tangled on the backstretch, snarling traffic behind them as other drivers piled in.

The drivers caught up in the pileup included Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, Justin Haley, Michael McDowell, Ryan Preece and Daniel Suarez.

The race had been postponed from Saturday due to rain. There was a brief window when the track was dry, and Hamlin was leading when the downpour resumed again Saturday. But conditions couldn’t have been better Sunday, with clear skies and temperatures in the 70s.

Fans React to Truex’s Win

Some fans were predictably upset that their favored driver didn’t win, chiming in to complain about the result. But many fans took to Twitter to say “Congratulations!” and offer words of celebration.

“Yep… it’s definitely Martin’s Ville,” tweeted one fan.

“WOOOOHOOOO !!!!! That’s my man! Congrats @MartinTruex_Jr,” another fan cheered.

“And so kids, that’s how it came to be known as Martin’s-Ville,” replied another fan, attaching an image of kids sitting around listening to a story from “The Simpsons.”