Busch Finishes Solid 11th at Martinsville Speedway

Haas Automation/Monster Energy Driver Now 10th in Points
Date: March 26, 2018

Event: Martinsville 500 (Round 6 of 36)

Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)

Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (130 laps/130 laps/240 laps)

Start/Finish: 11th/11th (Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)

Point Standing:  10th (177 points, 80 behind leader Kyle Busch)

 

Race Winner: Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130):

Kurt Busch started 11th and finished eighth to collect three bonus points.

● The No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion was loose early on.

● On lap 52, Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):

Started sixth, finished seventh to collect four bonus points.

● Said car lacked “forward bite.”

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):

Started eighth and finished 11th.

● Busch pitted on lap 265 for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.

● After a quick caution, Busch pitted on lap 130 for four tires and fuel, running in 11th.

● Still trying to find a little rear grip as the race came to a close, Busch managed to secure a solid 11th-place finish while teammate Bowyer crossed the finish line first to score the win for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

 

Notes:

● This was Busch’s fourth top-15 of 2018.

● Busch finished eighth in Stage 1 to collect three bonus points and seventh in Stage 2 to earn four additional bonus points.

● Bowyer’s victory in the Martinsville 500 marked the 47th overall win for SHR. It was the organization’s 43rd points-paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win and its fourth at Martinsville.

● This was SHR’s seventh Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.

● It was SHR’s fourth victory in the first six races of 2018, as Harvick scored back-to-back-to-back wins at the second, third and fourth events of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

● This was the second time in five races that all four SHR cars finished in the top-14.

● There were four caution periods for a total of 33 laps.

● Fourteen of the 38 drivers in the Martinsville 500 finished on the lead lap.

● Bowyer’s margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was 1.146 seconds.

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, April 8 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.

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