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)

Kyle Busch makes it 2-for-2 in Martinsville weekend victories

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Kyle Busch finally figured out Martinsville Speedway in his NASCAR truck series victory on Saturday.

Turns out, that was the opening act of a weekend sweep.

Busch dominated the 0.526-mile track Sunday, leading 352 of 500 laps and pulling away on a restart with 11 laps to go to win the STP 500, his first Sprint Cup victory at NASCAR's smallest, oldest track.

He outran AJ Allmendinger for his 35th series victory. Saturday's win was Busch's first at Martinsville in 31 starts across NASCAR's three national series.

The option to pick the inside or outside line as the leader on the final restart was great for Busch, but not for Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth.

"That was the key to the race, being able to restart on the bottom like that," Busch said after choosing the inside line, putting Kenseth outside. "We all talked as a group earlier this morning about how we were going to do that and what we were going to do and we all said, with 10 to go, it's pretty much off limits. It was (11) to go, so it was pretty much right on the brink there, so … sorry, Matt."

When the green flag flew, Busch sailed off, Allmendinger beat Kenseth to the inside position and Kenseth got shuffled back, going on to finish 15th.

Busch led the most laps at Martinsville since Bobby Hamilton was out front for 378 on April 20, 1998.

Allmendinger was second, followed by Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski.

"I was kind of hoping we'd stay green the last 120 laps," Allmendinger said. "I figured that wasn't going to happen, but I was praying we had a shot at that because I felt like if that happened, we had a great chance to win the race."

It was the second straight huge disappointment for Kenseth at Martinsville. Last fall he crashed race leader Joey Logano with 46 laps to go, earning a two-race suspension. This time, he seemed poised to challenge with 35 laps to go until a blown tire by Jamie McMurray caused a caution, bunching up the field.

It was also a lost day for Denny Hamlin, the defending race champion who was born in Tampa but grew up in Virginia.

Hamlin was fifth after 221 laps, overcoming a pit road penalty — an error he specifically had talked about wanting to avoid because he has had several of them at Martinsville. But his car spun heading into Turn 1 and hit the wall, sending him to the garage. He finished 42nd.

Gearhead stats

Winner's average speed: 80.088 mph

Time of race: 3 hours, 17 minutes, 2 seconds

Margin of victory: 0.663 seconds

Caution flags: Eight for 51 laps

Lead changes: 11 among five drivers

Lap leaders: Logano 1-21; Menard 22-31; Ky.Busch 32-100; Harvick 101-105; Ky.Busch 106-131; Kenseth 132-146; Ky.Busch 147-155; Harvick 156-222; Kenseth 223-240; Ky.Busch 241-314; Kenseth 315-326; Ky.Busch 327-500

Sprint Cup points

Through six of 36 races. The top 16 drivers, based on wins then points, will make the 10-race Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts.Back

Kevin Harvick * 220—

Jimmie Johnson ** 216 4

Kyle Busch * 215 5

Carl Edwards 206 14

Joey Logano 196 24

Brad Keselowski * 178 42

Austin Dillon 176 44

Kurt Busch 176 44

Denny Hamlin * 172 48

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 172 48

* Wins

Up next

Duck Commander 500, 7:30 p.m. Saturday,

Texas Motor Speedway,

Fort Worth

TV/radio: Ch. 13; 102.5-FM

Kyle Busch makes it 2-for-2 in Martinsville weekend victories 04/03/16 [Last modified: Sunday, April 3, 2016 9:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
  2. Jameis Winston as 2017 NFL MVP? 66-to-1 odds from Vegas

    Blogs

    Could Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston be an NFL MVP in 2017? It's certainly unlikely, but the sports book at Bovada has opening lines with Winston getting 66-to-1 odds, worse than 22 other players across the league.

    Bucs fans would be very happy if quarterback Jameis WInston can put himself into consideration for the NFL MVP award during the 2017 season.
  3. Deon Cain, Duke Dawson, Derrick Nnadi among SI's top 100 players

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's countdown of the top 100 players in college football continues with three more local players.

  4. The greatest coaches never to win it all

    College

    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  5. Bucs fans ranked 25th in study of NFL teams

    Blogs

    The Bucs and their fans are ranked 25th in an Emory University study of NFL teams' "fan base and branding analysis."

    Bucs fans were on their feet for this fourth-quarter play at home against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in 2015.