Race Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
SHR Race Completion:
● Aric Almirola (Started 2nd, Finished 8th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (started 19th, finished 9th / running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 6th, Finished 14th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
● Cole Custer (started 3rd, finished 21st / running, completed 402 of 403 laps)
● Aric Almirola (8th with 223 points, 65 from the first)
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 222 points, 66 from first)
● Chase Briscoe (11th with 220 points, 68 from first)
● Cole Custer (24th with 135 points, 153 from first)
● Almirola posted his fourth top-10 finish of the season and his seventh top-10 finish in 27 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville.
● This was Almirola’s second consecutive top 10 finish at Martinsville. He finished sixth in the series’ previous visit to the track last October.
● Almirola finished fifth in Stage 1 to earn six bonus points and seventh in Stage 2 to earn four more bonus points.
● Briscoe posted his third top-10 finish of the season and his first top-10 finish in three starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville.
● Briscoe’s ninth-place finish improved on his previous best finish at Martinsville: 22, earned last October.
● Harvick finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and 10th in Stage 2 to earn another bonus point.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only one finish outside the top 20 at Martinsville (33rd in October 2014).
● Custer finished third in Stage 1 to earn eight bonus points and fifth in Stage 2 to earn an additional six bonus points.
● William Byron won the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 for his fourth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, second of the season and first at Martinsville. His margin over second-place Joey Logano was .303 of a second.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 36 laps.
● Only 19 of the 36 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Chase Elliott remains the points leader after Martinsville with a three-point lead over second-place Ryan Blaney.
“We had a great Smithfield Spirals Ford Mustang tonight. It was a challenge at times. The position game on the court was very difficult. I mean, everyone was starting to run at the same speed after about 30 laps, but our car would take off well, and then it would loosen up more and more. I rolled the middle well enough and got out of the corner well, but I couldn’t keep up like those guys in front of us. Overall, it was a solid night for us, coming back after a couple of finishes that weren’t very good, so Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) and all the guys have been doing a good job. Hopefully, we can run up front again because if we run up front, we’ll have a chance to win.” – Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Spirals Ford Mustang
“I wish I could get my qualifying lap back after seeing how crucial track position was. That was definitely unfortunate. I wish it would have turned out better. We continued to improve the car and I was able to make some passes and it was really good in the long run, so we’ll see if we can apply anything when we come back later in the year. Overall, it was great to get another top 10.” – Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Ford Mustang Mahindra Tractors
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Food City Dirt Race on Sunday, April 17, at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race begins at 7 pm EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
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