MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Highlights of Sunday’s First Data 500, the first race of the third round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, at Martinsville Speedway:

WINNER: Kyle Busch overtook Denny Hamlin in overtime to win the Round of 8 opener at the 70-year-old, half-mile track in southwest Virginia.

Busch guaranteed himself a spot in the final four at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the victory and a chance to win his second championship. Busch won his first title in 2015.

Points leader Martin Truex Jr. finished second, followed by Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowksi and Kevin Harvick. The race ended under caution as a massive wreck broke out before Busch crossed the start-finish line. Hamlin finished seventh.

Follow
NASCAR on NBC ✔@NASCARonNBC
The frontstretch looked like a parking lot, after @KyleBusch won today at @MartinsvilleSwy! #Rowdy18
4:32 AM – Oct 30, 2017
22 22 Replies 191 191 Retweets 303 303 likes
Twitter Ads info and privacy
“There’s a lot more tension on eeveryone else than there is us,” a clearly pleased Busch said in victory lane. “Great win here today at Martinsville. We put ourselves in the right spot in the end, and there was just chaos unfolding and we took advantage. Just looking forward to going to Homestead. We can go out and race for wins and let everybody else have to worry.”

Following the checkered flag, a very frustrated Chase Elliott drove alongside Hamlin and turned him into the wall. Elliott had seemed on the verge of scoring of his first career Cup Series win before Hamlin spun him out in the final laps before the overtime restart.

Once the drivers climbed out of their cars, the drama only escalated as Elliott, who led 123 laps but finished 27 after the crash, got right into Hamlin’s face, demonstrably making his point, while Hamlin tried to defend himself.

Follow
NASCAR on NBC ✔@NASCARonNBC
Time for a lip-reading contest. 🙊#2the4ront #NASCARPlayoffs
4:27 AM – Oct 30, 2017
97 97 Replies 389 389 Retweets 934 934 likes
Twitter Ads info and privacy
Both drivers taked to TV reporters after the race to give their side of the story.

“My mom always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” Elliott, said in regard to Hamlin. “He’s not worth my time, so we’ll move onto Texas. It was just unneccessary and uncalled for. I can’t control his decisions and whatever the hell that was.”

Hamlin claimed he didn’t intend to wreck Elliott, he was just racing for the win.

“I got in the back of him and he spun,” Hamlin said. “I’m trying to get a race win. Everybody wrecked everyone at the end. It was a mess at the end. Everyone was doing the exact same thing. I hate it for his team, but this was a ticket to Homestead. I’m not saying I wrecked him on purpose but I got in the back of him and he spun out.”

ROUGH RESTART: On the penultimate restart on lap 497, race leader Keselowski chose the outside line with Elliott running on the inside. Elliott ran Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford up the race track to take the lead until Hamlin raced to his back bumper, made contact and spun Elliott into the wall. Elliott crashed to bring out the caution and an overtime restart.

Follow
NASCAR on NBC ✔@NASCARonNBC
Wow. What a wild restart that ends with Chase Elliott in the wall after contact with Denny Hamlin! #NASCARPlayoffs
4:18 AM – Oct 30, 2017
220 220 Replies 241 241 Retweets 381 381 likes
Twitter Ads info and privacy
A LONG CAUTION: A Carl Long crash with 43 laps to go brought the leaders to the pits for key stops. Elliott’s crew returned his car to the track first. He was leading when Long’s wreck occurred. Elliott was followed out of the pits by Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch.

LARSON CRASHES: Kyle Larson, who fell out of the playoffs last week at Kansas Speedway, lost control of his Chevrolet on lap 302 and crashed into the inside wall on the backstretch, causing the fifth caution of the day. Larson finished 37th, his second consecutive finish of 35th or worse.

PHOTOS: KYLE BUSCH THROUGH THE YEARS

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
LinkedIn
Kyle Busch through the years
Fullscreen
Kyle Busch was born May 2, 1985. He became a full-time
Kyle Busch was born May 2, 1985. He became a full-time Sprint Cup driver in 2005. Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports
FULLSCREEN
Kyle Busch was born May 2, 1985. He became a full-time1 of 40
Kyle Busch waves to crowd after winning the 2017 playoff
Kyle Busch, holding the traditonal lobster, celebrates
Kyle Busch does a little housekeeping on top of his
Kyle Busch led 451 of 1,003 laps in sweeping all three
Kyle Busch and son Brexton during driver introductions
Kyle Busch entertains the crowd with a burnout after
Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the pole for the
Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the 2016 Brickyard
Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the GoBowling.com
Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the Duck Commander
Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the STP 500 at
Busch celebrates his first career Sprint Cup championship
Busch celebrates his first career championship with
Busch and his team celebrate after winning the 2015
Busch celebrates with a burnout after clinching the
Busch leads the pack during the Ford EcoBoost 400 at
NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Kyle Busch (54) celebrates
Busch celebrates his victory in the Toyota SaveMart
Busch celebrates with wife Samantha and newborn son
Medical crews attend to Busch after crashing during
Kyle Busch celebrates winning the Kansas Lottery 300
Busch celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California.
Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha, shown in 2013 at Dover International Speedway, married in Chicago on Dec 31, 2010.
Busch celebrates in victory lane after the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 11, 2013.
FORT WORTH, TX – APRIL 13: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texs Motor Speedway) ORG XMIT: 159332236 ORIG FILE ID: 166545041
Busch celebrates in victory lane after winning the Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2013.
Jun 2, 2013; Dover, DE, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) makes a pit stop during the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-128798 ORIG FILE ID: 20130602_pjc_bm2_087.JPG
Jun 1, 2013; Dover, DE, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) during practice for the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-134238 ORIG FILE ID: 20130601_ajw_an4_060.jpg
Busch celebrates in victory lane with his mother, Gaye, after winning the Nationwide race at Darlington Raceway on May 10, 2013.
ORG XMIT: USPW-26252 Jul 09, 2011; Sparta, KY, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) celebrates winning the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE ORIG FILE ID: 20110709_kdl_al3_009.JPG
Kyle Busch celebrates winning the Crown Royal 400 Sprint Cup Series NASCAR race on his birthday at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va., Saturday, May 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) ORG XMIT: VASH122
Kyle Busch poses with wife, Samantha, on February 18, 2012 after winning the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona
Kyle Busch celebrates winning the the Crown Royal 400 Sprint Cup Series NASCAR race on his birthday at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va., Saturday, May 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) ORG XMIT: VASH123
Kyle Busch holds up a jersey sent from Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing and coach of the Washington Redskins, during a press conference announcing that Busch will drive the No. 18 Nextel Cup car for Job Gibbs Racing’s beginning in 2008 at the team’s headquarters in Huntersville, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) ORG XMIT: NCMM101
Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the NASCAR Checker Auto Parts 500 Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005, at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Connors) ORG XMIT: PNP115
Nov 13, 2005; Phoenix, Ariz, USA; Nascar Nextel Cup driver Kyle Busch driver of the #5 Kellogs Chevy celebrates his victory in the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Earlier in the day his brother 2004 Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch(not pictured) was pulled from the car for the rest of the season after being arrested for wreckless driving Friday night in nearby Avondale, Ariz. Mandatory Credit: Photo By Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE © Copyright Mark J. Rebilas ORIG FILE ID: 20051113_jhp_su5_251.jpg
Kyle Busch takes a break from practice for Friday’s NASCAR Busch Food City 250 Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004, at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Alan Marler) ORG XMIT: TNBR103
Kyle Busch (5) stands on his car on the frontstretch celebrating his win in the NASCAR Busch Series Carquest Auto Parts 300 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., Saturday, May 29, 2004. (AP Photo/Rusty Burroughs) ORG XMIT: CHL202
NASCAR Busch Series driver Kyle Busch smiles as he prepares to exit his car following a qualification run of 189.847 mph that earned him the pole position for the O’Reilly 300 race, Thursday April 1, 2004.
Next Slide
40 Photos
Kyle Busch through the years
STAGE TWO: The race’s second stage ended with a tense battle for the lead between Keselowski and arch-rival Kyle Busch. They bumped fenders with three laps remaining in the stage, Keselowski eventually winning the race to the finish line by 1.1 seconds. Following in the top 10 were Logano, Truex, Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson.

STAGE ONE: Keselowski, targeting Sunday’s race as a must-win, outran Kyle Busch by 1.1 seconds to win the race’s first stage on lap 130. Completing the top 10 were Logano, Johnson, Truex, Elliott, Blaney, Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin.

ALLMENDINGER SPINS: Contact between Danica Patrick and AJ Allmendinger sent Allmendinger’s car sliding on lap 87, bringing out the race’s third caution.

CAUTION ONE: Ty Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wrecked in turn two on lap 37 to produce the first caution of the afternoon. NASCAR had planned to have a competition caution at lap 45 but chose to use the first true caution for the competition period.

JOHNSON TO THE BACK: Seven-time champion Johnson started the race at the back of the field after losing control of his Chevrolet during Sunday qualifying and almost hitting the wall. By lap 85, he had moved into 16th place.

JUNIOR’S WIFE PACES FIELD: Amy Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s wife, drove the pace car at the front of the field before the start of the race. Long-time pace car driver Brett Bodine accompanied her for some practice laps Sunday morning. “What an awesome gift,” she tweeted. “Thank you so much for letting me drive the pace car today! The perspective from that rear view compares to nothing!”

Follow Hembree on Twitter @mikehembree

PHOTOS: 2017 NASCAR CUP SERIES RACE WINNERS

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
LinkedIn
2017 NASCAR Cup Series race winners
Fullscreen
Weekly race winners from the Monster Energy NASCAR
Weekly race winners from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Allan Henry, USA TODAY Sports
FULLSCREEN
Weekly race winners from the Monster Energy NASCAR1 of 35
Feb 26: Kurt Busch wins the Daytona 500 at Daytona
March 5: Brad Keselowski wins the Folds of Honor QuikTrip
March 12: Martin Truex, Jr. wins the Kobalt 400 at
March 19: Ryan Newman wins the Camping World 500 at
March 26: Kyle Larson wins the Auto Club 400 at Auto
April 2: Brad Keselowski wins the STP 500 at Martinsville
April 9: Jimmie Johnson wins the O’Reilly Auto Parts
April 24: Jimmie Johnson wins the Food City 500 at
April 30: Joey Logano wins the Toyota Owners 400 at
May 7: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins the GEICO 500 at Talladega
May 13: Martin Truex Jr. wins the Go Bowling 400 at
May 20: Kyle Busch wins the All-Star race at Charlotte
May 28: Austin Dillon wins the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte
June 4: Jimmie Johnson wins the AAA 400 at Dover International
June 11: Ryan Blaney wins the Pocono 400 at Pocono
June 18: Kyle Larson wins the Firekeepers Casino 400
June 25: Kevin Harvick wins the Toyota/Save Mart 350
July 1: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins the Coke Zero 400
July 8: Martin Truex Jr. wins the Quaker State 400
July 16: Denny Hamlin wins the Overton’s 301 at New
July 23: Kasey Kahne wins the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis
July 30: Kyle Busch wins the Overton’s 400 at Pocono
Aug. 6: Martin Truex Jr. wins the I Love New York 355
Aug. 13: Kyle Larson wins the Pure Michigan 400 at
Aug. 19: Kyle Busch, shown here with son Brexton during
Sept. 3: Denny Hamlin wins the Southern 500 at Darlington
Sept. 9: Kyle Larson won the Federated Auto Parts 400,
Sept. 17: Martin Truex Jr. wins the Turtles 400 at
Sept. 24: Kyle Busch wins the ISM Connect 300 at New
Oct 1: Kyle Busch wins the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover
Oct. 8: Martin Truex Jr. wins the Bank of America 500
Oct. 15: Brad Keselowski wins the Alabama 500 at Talladega
Oct. 22: Martin Truex Jr. wins the Hollywood Casino
Oct. 29: Kyle Busch wins the First Data 500 at Martinsville
Next Slide
35 Photos
2017 NASCAR Cup Series race winners
FIRST DATA 500 RESULTS

Sunday from the 0.526-mile Martinsville Speedway (starting position in parentheses):

1. (14) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 505 laps, 0 rating, 58 points.

2. (2) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 505, 0, 48.

3. (5) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 505, 0, 36.

4. (7) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 505, 0, 53.

5. (13) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 505, 0, 36.

6. (34) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 505, 0, 31.

7. (6) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 505, 0, 31.

8. (4) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 505, 0, 38.

9. (17) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 505, 0, 31.

10. (22) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 505, 0, 27.

11. (21) Dale Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet, 505, 0, 26.

12. (24) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 505, 0, 33.

13. (25) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 505, 0, 26.

14. (18) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 505, 0, 23.

15. (15) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 505, 0, 22.

16. (12) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 505, 0, 24.

17. (23) Danica Patrick, Ford, 505, 0, 20.

18. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford, 505, 0, 19.

19. (20) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 505, 0, 18.

20. (19) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 505, 0, 17.

21. (29) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 505, 0, 16.

22. (11) Kurt Busch, Ford, 505, 0, 15.

23. (33) Landon Cassill, Ford, 505, 0, 14.

24. (1) Joey Logano, Ford, 504, 0, 29.

25. (30) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 504, 0, 12.

26. (8) Erik Jones, Toyota, 504, 0, 11.

27. (3) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 504, 0, 21.

28. (31) David Ragan, Ford, 503, 0, 9.

29. (16) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 503, 0, 8.

30. (26) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 501, 0, 7.

31. (35) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 501, 0, 6.

32. (32) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 500, 0, 5.

33. (36) Corey Lajoie, Toyota, 500, 0, 4.

34. (40) Hermie Sadler, Chevrolet, 494, 0, 3.

35. (38) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 488, 0, 2.

36. (39) Carl Long, Chevrolet, accident, 444, 0, 0.

37. (9) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, accident, 300, 0, 1.

38. (37) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, reargear, 274, 0, 1.

39. (28) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, electrical, 187, 0, 1.

40. (27) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, accident, 94, 0, 1.

———

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 74.901 mph.

Time of Race: 3 hours, 32 minutes, 47 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.141 seconds.

Caution Flags: 11 for 74 laps.

Lead Changes: 16 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J.Logano 1-48; B.Keselowski 49-78; J.Logano 79-89; J.Johnson 90-113; B.Keselowski 114-134; Ky.Busch 135-257; B.Keselowski 258-265; Ky.Busch 266-324; C.Elliott 325-362; B.Keselowski 363-385; C.Elliott 386-458; Ky.Busch 459; C.Elliott 460-470; B.Keselowski 471-496; C.Elliott 497; D.Hamlin 498-504; Ky.Busch 505

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): Ky.Busch, 4 times for 180 laps; C.Elliott, 4 times for 119 laps; B.Keselowski, 5 times for 103 laps; J.Logano, 2 times for 57 laps; J.Johnson, 1 time for 23 laps; D.Hamlin, 1 time for 6 laps.

Wins: M.Truex, 7; Ky.Busch, 5; K.Larson, 4; J.Johnson, 3; B.Keselowski, 3; D.Hamlin, 2; R.Stenhouse, 2; R.Blaney, 1; Ku.Busch, 1; A.Dillon, 1; K.Harvick, 1; K.Kahne, 1; J.Logano, 1; R.Newman, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. M.Truex, 4117; 2. Ky.Busch, 4100; 3. B.Keselowski, 4079; 4. K.Harvick, 4053; 5. J.Johnson, 4050; 6. R.Blaney, 4047; 7. D.Hamlin, 4045; 8. C.Elliott, 4027; 9. K.Larson, 2237; 10. M.Kenseth, 2215; 11. K.Kahne, 2150; 12. A.Dillon, 2148; 13. J.McMurray, 2146; 14. R.Stenhouse, 2146; 15. Ku.Busch, 2139; 16. R.Newman, 2130.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here