Following last week's controversial finish at Talladega Superspeedway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series traveled to Martinsville Speedway for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500. All day, there was a threat of weather, but the teams were able to dodge occasional showers to run the full race, which included a bit of everything.
The race started under a green/yellow situation, which meant that the laps they are running were being counted, but they were under caution so NASCAR could finish drying the track. When it went green, Martin Truex Jr. shot to the lead, while A.J. Allmendenger took second place. Joey Logano, who started on the pole, eventually got the lead back on Lap 36, but yielded the lead to Jeff Gordon on Lap 44.
Gordon was leading the race when the competition caution came out on Lap 50. The leaders took the time to come down pit road, and Joey Logano won the race off pit road. He then led the field back to green, but was passed by Kurt Busch on Lap 60. Logano retook the lead on Lap 82, and held the lead until Lap 102 when Michael Annett spun in Turn 2, which brought out the caution.
When the field went back to green, it didn't last long, as within one lap of the green flag flying, Denny Hamlin spun out in Turn 4, and collected Danica Patrick, Greg Biffle, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Logano led the field back to green, and held the lead on Lap 135 when Ryan Preece hit the curb at the bottom of the track and hit Sam Hornish Jr. to bring out the caution.
Logano led the field back to green on Lap 142, and was holding the lead when Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon crashed to bring out the caution. Logano then led the field back to green, and held the lead on Lap 185 when David Ragan got into the back of Clint Bowyer, who hit the wall to bring out the caution flag.
Logano led the field back to green, but Kevin Harvick passed him for the lead on Lap 198. Harvick held the lead until Biffle spun again to bring out the caution. Logano won the field back to green on Lap 286, which set up a green flag run that lasted almost 100 laps and was only broken up when Kyle Fowler hit the wall to bring out the caution.
Brad Keselowski led the field back to green on Lap 387. and held that lead untill Lap 417 when Danica Patrick, who was unhappy with David Gilliland, spun him out to bring out another caution. The next big wreck came on Lap 435 when Matt Kenseth, Keselowsi, and Kurt Busch all crashed.
Logano led the field back to green on Lap 443, but lost it 10 laps later when Matt Kenseth, who was 10 laps down, waited for Logano to pass him, then crashed into him, sending both cars into the wall. That allowed Gordon to take the lead. After a brief red flag period, Gordon led the field back to green, and was in the lead when the caution came out with just six laps left, which set up a green white checkered finish.
Gordon took the green flag, with Jamie McMurray in second position. Gordon held on to the lead, and took the checkered flag to get the win in his final race at the track. He also clinched his spot into the Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
McMurray finished second, while Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Busch rounded out the Top five.
Next week, the series goes to Texas Motor Speedway for the second race in the Eliminator round of the Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup.
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