Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Chase Elliott wins NASCAR truck race at Martinsville Speedway

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Chase Elliott had spent lap after lap pursuing race leader Christopher Bell, trying to find, or create, a way around him.

Turned out, he didn't have to do a thing.

Elliott grabbed the lead when Bell wiggled with 17 laps to go and held off teammate Johnny Sauter to win the NASCAR Truck Series Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday.

"I was trying," Elliott said. "There were a couple times I really tried to pass him and got into him pretty hard and was trying to kind of root him up out of the way. He was doing a really good job of controlling his momentum and my momentum coming to his bumper.

"His bumper was getting awfully blue as the day went on. I was going to try to be a little more aggressive if I got back to him, but had a little help from his misfortune, which happens. I've been on both ends of it, so we'll take it."

Elliott, who lost out to Sauter on the 0.526-mile oval in October, held off one challenge from the defending series champion and pulled away for his second victory in 12 career starts in the series. Sauter finished second, followed by Bell, rookie Noah Gragson and Ty Dillon.

Sauter, who unlike Elliott is a contender for the truck series title, played it safe and might have been kicking himself later.

"To be completely honest with you, before that last caution came out, there was an opportunity to get by Chase, and I cut him some slack," said Sauter, who was seeking a record fourth victory at Martinsville. "… In hindsight I should have probably went ahead and did what I needed to do."

The exciting finish was set up by a mistake Bell made with 17 laps left that handed the top two spots to Elliott and Sauter.

Bell had led for 90 laps, much of it with Elliott on his rear bumper looking for an opening. The break came when Bell, frustrated that rookie Austin Cindric was slowing him down while trying to stay on the lead lap, finally nudged Cindric heading into a turn, causing Cindric to lose traction then Bell to get loose as well. It created an inside lane for Elliott and Sauter to move into the top two positions.

"It's miserable to know that you're leading the race and I was having to run real hard to keep those guys behind us," Bell said, "so it was a pretty stressful last stage there with (Elliott) being a little bit better than I was. But up until that point, we had held them off."

Chase Elliott wins NASCAR truck race at Martinsville Speedway 04/01/17 [Last modified: Saturday, April 1, 2017 8:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Red state: Yes, Bill O'Reilly is a Bucs fan

    Blogs

    TAMPA -- The question was simple enough for Bucs fans: Why is former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly wearing a red Bucs polo?

    O'Reilly was wearing the polo during a few video clips from his "No Spin News" podcast posted on his website Monday, which was exciting news for some Bucs fans and not-so-exciting …

    Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly was sporting a red Bucs polo during his "No Spin News" video podcast Monday. An assistant said the shirt was given to him by former Bucs tight end Dave Moore.
  2. For starters: Slumping LoMo, Dickerson not in Rays lineup tonight vs LHP

    Blogs

    1B Logan Morrison and LF Corey Dickerson, two of the main slumpers in the Rays lineup, are not in tonight's lineup with the Orioles throwing LHP Wade Miley.

    Logan Morrison is 0-for-12 on this homestand.
  3. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst

    Blogs

    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  4. Rank the top 10 Bucs players? Here's what fans said

    Blogs

    We mentioned this morning that is was a fun challenge, in response to Sports Illustrated's ranking of the NFL's top 400 players, to ask fans to rank their top 10 Bucs players.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston during last year's Bucs win against the Seahawks. Evans and Winston finished 1-2 in an informal Twitter poll of fans ranking their top Bucs players.
  5. Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.

    Storm

    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    This combination of photos provided by Boston University shows sections from a normal brain, top, and from the brain of former University of Texas football player Greg Ploetz, bottom, in stage IV of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to a report released on Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life -- evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a devastating disease in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. [Dr. Ann McKee | BU via AP]