Alex Bowman Wins in Classic Short Track Fashion at Martinsville

Alex Bowman wins in classic short track fashion at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 on Sunday afternoon.

Alex Bowman wins in classic short track fashion at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 on Sunday afternoon.

One final race to set the stage for the championship race in Phoenix. Eight drivers hunting for a Final Four spot in a race that settles it all. It all takes place at Martinsville Speedway. A half-mile paperclip track where tempers flare quickly. Martinsville is the perfect spot for an important cutoff race. A playoff team always leaves heartbroken when the checkered flag is waved.  

Kyle Larson Starts from the Pole

Kyle Larson started on the pole once more as the field sped down the front stretch. Larson controlled the opening 60 laps. At this point, the competition caution came out, and the field came to pit road for service.

Larson won the race off pit road and continued to lead the opening stage. On lap 85, Chase Elliott passed Larson for the lead. Then, Elliott navigated his way through traffic for the remaining 50 laps to win the first stage. 

Leading the Second Stage is Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott won the race off pit road and continued to lead into the second stage. 62 laps into the stage, Austin Dillon was caught up with a flat tire. He drove straight into the wall and brought out the caution flag.

Martin Truex Jr. took the lead following the pit stops under caution. Chase Elliott had a great restart and was able to stay with Truex Jr. On the following lap, Chase Elliott made the pass for the lead.

The remaining 55 laps of the second segment ran green. Chase Elliott was able to pick up the win for the second stage. 

Caution Filled Third Stage with a Dramatic Finish

The final stage included many cautions, but the final fifty laps included all the drama. Denny Hamlin held the lead with Alex Bowman running second. Brad Keselowski was running fourth and he needed to win in order to advance on to the championship. With 44 laps remaining Keselowski hit the rear bumper of Chase Elliott causing him to spin.

Hamlin restarted with the lead, and Alex Bowman stayed right behind. Coming to five laps remaining, Bowman lost slight control of his car coming into the third turn. Bowman made contact with Hamlin causing him to spin.

Bowman assumed the lead as the race entered overtime and drove down into the first turn with Kyle Busch giving chase. Bowman held the field at bay and was able to pick up his fourth win of the season.  

The Xfinity 500 Results

Alex Bowman Wins in Classic Short Track Fashion at Martinsville

Typical short track ending. Two guys racing hard for the win, and something goes bad. It is what is expected at Martinsville, and the outcome is what fans want to see. Alex Bowman spins out Denny Hamlin after racing hard lap after lap. At some point, this was going to happen, and it did.

Of course, Bowman would go on to win the race and look like the villain. Had Denny Hamlin missed the championship race because of this incident, it would have added to the drama even more.

Year after year at Martinsville, these incidents happen and it is what drives the anticipation of this race. Only one person leaves Martinsville happy, and that is the one who wins the race. 

The NASCAR Cup Series Point Standings

The championship four are set. Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., and Denny Hamlin. Two pairs of teammates will put it on the line this coming Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

Chase Elliott is looking to defend his crown, and two drivers are looking to win their first championship. Chase Elliott put on a clinic in last year’s race, and Kyle Larson is coming in as the favorite. Many will look to Denny Hamlin or Martin Truex Jr. to make an upset and claim the championship. 

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